Banter with BDK: How to ACTUALLY Survive High School


Over the summer, the journalism program chained me up in a steaming dungeon and forced me to write humorous blog posts about school. Since I’m not a fan of fear and torture, I let them have their way so that all the new inmates come out unharmed.


Ah, school. For some, it’s paradise. Those people need to get their heads checked. For those of us with an I.Q. over 70, school is a place of torture so vile it makes the Spanish Inquisition look like a hippie commune. For those that would like to know how to actually survive high school, I’ve included a list of things I’ve learned from freshman orientation, updated for accuracy and the reading pleasure of the modern high school student.

  1. Buy as many as school supplies as possible.

High schools are like annoying girlfriends on Valentine’s Day. They don’t just want you to spend some of your money; they want you to spend ALL of your money. That’s right, empty your pockets, and convince Mom and Dad to do likewise, because the following three page list of supplies is incredibly important to your child’s growth and well-being. Just wait till September, when we tell them they don’t even need half this crap! And then they usually tack on more as the year goes on, you run low on funds, your angry parents threaten to kick you out of the house or send you to military school for raiding their wallets, and things suck for both you and them ‘cause some crackpot wants to evaluate your shopping skills. Here’s how to get around this: Celebrate Black Friday early. Set aside one week to spend in stores and online hoarding as many unnecessary items as possible. That way, when your Science teachers decide to give you shopping mid-terms, you get automatic 100’s. If you’re feeling resentful, use the unneeded supplies for campfire material next summer!

  1. Develop an in class sleeping schedule.

Most schools like to teach kids “a diverse array of subjects, so they may be properly educated in the ways of the real world.” While education is important, being educated on what YOU want to do with your life is even more important. For any job or career, you only need to know 30% of the things you learn in high school. Even if the future you envision for yourself is bagging groceries, no manager will quiz you on trigonometry during your interview. However, you’re still forced to listen to people who don’t care about you (and vice versa) drone on about stuff that would force even Einstein to jump off a bridge. Oh, what to do? Well, what’s the human body’s way of dealing with stress? Sleeping! If you know what you want to do with your life (Yes, you can rock), consult someone you know in that field and have them pick the subjects you won’t need to know (Ex: For future accountants, someone in the field might rule out anything that’s not math or personal finance) and in those classes get even with the teachers by catching up on the five hours of sleep you missed torturing yourself with whatever they dumped on you last night. Slip into the magical world of non-school related daydreams, where you envision yourself doing anything not in that class. If the teacher complains, your best friends (no matter how much you might hate them at this age) are your parents. The angry letter shaming someone for not knowing your mental health issues is one of the most powerful weapons in the school system. That way, when you’re enjoying your future success, you won’t have to remember anything you were subjected to in Chem or AP US history.

  1. Don’t go near the lockers between the hours of 11:39 and 1:02.

Like long RMV lines and Disney movies, there’s some things it seems we’ll never get rid of, and that includes winding up on the wrong side of a locker door. Don’t let some ignorant fool tell you “THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN ANYMORE! BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!” because it still does in many places, especially during lunch. The worst part is, some of the lockers may have failed science experiments from 1972 in them, and the creators are happily retired in Florida, so they can’t help you out. To avoid creepy sadistic seniors, you might need to walk on the ceiling during lunch when you’re in the halls. Don’t think giving one of the football jocks a job as a hall monitor will work: they tend to stick together with and will totally take bribes from the offending parties. Just enjoy being upside down during that time, and if anyone gets ideas about shoving you in a locker, you get to sue them if you’re hurt while they take 20 minutes to pull you down.  

4: Be very selective of what you’re involved in.

“[insert random high school] has a wide variety of clubs and activities for students to join…” Clubs. Great way to socialize, right. They’re split 50/50. Some clubs are really fun, the people are nice, and you might take away a few life lessons. Others are the “Thank you sir, may I have another” scene from Animal House. While it’s very unlikely your classmates will tear your clothes off, lean you over a table, and take turns whacking you on your rear end with a paddle, some clubs just aren’t “the place of acceptance” lots of schools like to rave about. Here are two types of clubs you should avoid, depending on where you are: 

  1. Sports. Let’s get this straight. I’m into music and film. However, I don’t look down on sports as much as you might think. Some schools have great teams, supportive coaches, and friendly athletes. However, in towns obsessed with sports, things like football, hockey, basketball, etc. are basically cults. You ever seen a Rec League soccer game? Remember how half the team has a meltdown when they lose? Picture that, but heighten the players, deepen their voices, and give them hair where there wasn’t before. And picture it far worse than screaming and rolling on the field. If you’re in a sports obsessed school, see if you can get into a team in a neighboring town. Better to have your teammates be mildly disappointed than get used a punching bag if you mess up.  
  2. Debate teams and political clubs.

If you know someone who’s super into politics, you’ve probably been subjected to endless rants about random crap you don’t care about or don’t want to hear. Triple that, and you have your average high school debate team. The main thing you have to remember about political clubs is that a rare one may be more moderate, but the majority are the atheistic equivalent to Scientology. Usually there’s a group of four or five people with certain views on things, and everyone in the organization is expected to agree with them. If you’ve been somewhere like Yellowstone, you might know what happens when another wolf pack member challenges the alpha male or female. Think of political debates as a more civilized and stupider version of getting wrestled to the ground and putting your nonexistent tail between your legs over insisting that hunting moose as opposed to much safer deer and elk for dinner is a good idea. I’ve heard way too many stories about screaming matches, people getting hit with briefcases, called racist or not anti-racist enough, and the like. This is the one thing that does carry over to real life. No matter what your militantly conservative or militantly liberal social studies teacher may tell you, just avoid getting into politics at any stage of life. Check yourself out of that mental hospital while no one is pressuring you to join debate teams or other related organizations.

In general, to people who say, “THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN AT OUR DEBATE TEAM!” or football team or whatever, just treat them like the boy who cried wolf. Don’t be a jerk, but don’t be the outgoing, super involved model student, because in the words of Cheap Trick (even though this quote refers to something else) “You’ll never know what you catch.”


5: Suck up to teachers you don’t like.

Teachers are a mixed bag. In many places, the nice ones get dropped to the bottom of the bag, where they’re forced to live under the imaginary bridge, and live off of fish from the river and any leftover McDonald’s people throw off the sides. At the top of the bag are the ones you’d most likely find in a John Hughes teen comedy, where they’re taken out, and reused over and over until their expiration date. It is possible, however, to “resist”. Just overwhelm them with deceptively sweet, saccharine kindness you’d find in a cult member recruiting people for initiation. Force yourself to do every homework assignment PERFECTLY. Do extra credit things you didn’t need to do. Get a 100 on every test. Go as far as to buy them FLOWERS on the last day. And when you’re done with them, make as much fun of them as you want with your friends on a warm summer night.

6: Get involved with drama

With all the “reality” crap on TV since at least 2002, I’m shocked high schools haven’t started letting their morning announcement crews film random things happening in the building. After all, school IS a boring place, and there’s nothing better to liven up a boring place than good old fashioned drama. Find out who’s wearing the stupidest outfit, who you DON’T want to take the prom, and even what the teachers are sneaking into the lounge. While all of this may sound mean, in a place where the anti-fun villains from kids cartoons reign supreme, kids like to rag on themselves and each other for fun. As long as no one gets hurt, (which NEVER happens according to the paid shills) it’s the only way us low life scum can brighten our moods while we’re on the inside, thank you very much. 

7: Try to befriend everyone and see where it gets you.

Social life in high school is another thing that gets people through the cold, unfeeling machine that is education. Making friends is hard, but I’ll contradict one of my previous statements and tell you that if you’re desperate to have friends, make EVERYONE your friend. This could go two ways:

  1. People hate you. Without a chapter of Hell’s Angels around to beat them up or shoot them, they can scream as many mean things at you and no one will stop them. Your existence will be miserable, and you’ll wind up turning your back on the world and living in a cave in the Greater Appalachian region. 
  2. People LOVE you. All the girls want to go out with you, all the boys want to beat up anyone who doesn’t like you, and you’ll be tangled up in alliances so complicated, you might even take over your own school and no one will do anything about it.

If you have reservations about this, try making friends the normal way. But, if the caves of West Virginia appeal to you, or you want your own personal cult of personality, go for it!


And finally,


  1. Avoid school pride.

Loyalty to an institution is just pointless. Ask any prison guard in the world, and they’ll tell you how miserable everyone in there is. Unfortunately, schools demand this kind of loyalty. Every few months, there’s a “Spirit Week” where you can get made fun of for not doing things you previously would have been made fun of for doing. Any school event or game is heavily promoted, and everyone’s expected to be as radically pro-school as they can. However, if your school is comparable to the Soviet Union in terms of feverish patriotism, here are 3 tips to avoid the trap:

  1. Openly defy theme days. 

This is something I regularly practice. The most common way is to wear the exact opposite of “Spirit Dress Code” for the day. If it’s Patriots day, wear a Dolphins or Broncos shirt, or if you feel brave, a Jets shirt. If it’s tie-dye day, wear brown, gray, or black. If it’s something like Wacky Wednesday, wear the most generic clothes you own. If you feel like a true revolutionary, cross dress on flannel day!

  1. Secretly support the rival team.

This is the most simple of the 5. Don’t show up to any games. If people try to beat you up, make your own “rival team” T shirt with the logo inverted or turned upside down or spelled backwards and sideways, that way you can quietly slip out while your attackers try to decode the writing for about 30 minutes.

  1. Dodge the prom, semi, or dance.

This is the most controversial of the tips. Lots of people will freak out when they see this. However, consider this: An insane amount of money to get in, clothes you can’t breathe in, food you probably won’t like, annoying parent chaperones, awful music (depending on your tastes)  and awkward interactions with people that you’ll regret for the rest of your life. Does this appeal to you? If it doesn’t here’s what you can do. Find friends or a guy or girl you like who feels the same way as you. Order a pizza. Drive somewhere where times are always good, and suffer no more! If you feel like a true revolutionary, show up to the social events and choose one of the following things. 

1: Wear extremely casual clothes and make a statement. 

2: If you’re a guy, no matter how secure you are about your masculinity, cross dress. You may want to request Tim Curry’s song from Rocky Horror while you’re at it if you really want to make everyone uncomfortable.

3: If your DJ is a real sucker for song requests, pick a long 70’s progressive rock song (i.e. ‘’Supper’s Ready” by Genesis, 23 minutes) that goes through multiple time signature and tempo changes. That way, you can torture all the snobby couples that annoyed you earlier in the year.

4: Get a book of T.S. Eliot poems. Buy a beret and black sweater. Pay the DJ 50 bucks to get out of town, and recite the entire book! Lock the doors while you’re at it. 

For those of you who like proclaiming your loyalty to an institution, it must feel nice to embody repressive conformity.


So anyway, if you’ve served some of your four year sentence, or have just been incarcerated, disregard any prior info, follow these tips, and you’ll ACTUALLY survive high school.