A completely factual guide to high school


By Charlotte Klingaman

Graphic by Denise Chan

Why, hello there, freshman! You’re starting your very first morning as a student in this massive building. But don’t fret — we’re here now to give you a crash course on all things South.

First off, every teacher with a vowel in their name is known to assign absent slips to anyone who runs in even two milliseconds after the bell. So be on time. Always. This is truly important, for if you are late, all your peers will eagerly aid the teachers in hanging you on the classroom ceiling fan — yes, the one that’s rickety and one wrong move from crashing down — by your toenails. 

The classes themselves, however, are nothing but fun! In math, you’ll be confined to calculators straight from hell that are near-impossible to use. In English, you’ll have to define every single word in the Oxford Dictionary and understand Shakespeare’s obscure lingo. If you fail to do so, they’ll send you back in time through famine and disease, and you will meet the genius playwright yourself. If you still cannot understand him, you will be sent forward in time to when the second Big Bang destroys all of what matter was left from the first one. Still, if a teacher catches you looking at something other than your paper for over 0.000001 seconds, they will turn into an Among Us imposter, proclaim the Illuminati is coming and break apart the atoms that make up your mortal body. 

By this point, you, dear freshman, have probably realized the majority of the above is a joke (no promises, though). So, let’s walk through the non-nightmarish tips of how to thrive at South. 

When it comes to navigating this huge building, South’s room numbering system is quite simple once you wrap your head around it. Each room number has four digits — the thousands place is the house (or which wing of the school the room is in), the hundreds place is the floor number and the last two digits are the room number. Don’t worry too much about getting lost — you’ll somehow always find your way to the correct destination. After all, all roads lead to Rome… or in this case, the student center. 

Another basic to know (like the back of your hand) is your schedule. Simply memorize the entire master schedule with each of the class start/end times, lunch periods and WIN or LION blocks. Soon enough, you’ll be able to feel in your bones whether your class period is a 65 or 75 minute block. 

WIN blocks, or what-I-need blocks, are periods from Wednesday to Friday you can use to see a teacher, quietly work or relax. LION blocks are every Tuesday, alternating blue and orange each week. These, unlike WIN blocks, don’t require attendance — you can go home early if you’d like — but they are often the times when clubs meet. So unless you want your club leaders to be the next ones to hang you from the ceiling fan, make it to the meetings. Please. Especially if it’s in room 1201 at the Lion’s Roar (wink wink).

Speaking of clubs, there’s a place for virtually everyone at South. When it comes to making the most of your high school experience, try to find something you’re passionate about and seek out people who have the same interests. Even though it’s corny advice, you should put yourself out there and try new things. Whether it’s organizing the freshmen dance as a class officer, competing at speech and debate tournaments or whipping up content for the esteemed Lion’s Roar newspaper, find your niche and have fun! If you don’t take advantage of your precious time here, you’ll grow a little shoulder demon (no angel, though) that will never stop shaming you for your horrible decision-making skills.

At the end of the day, all we can say is this: make good impressions, try to make good decisions, soak up the next four years ahead of you and never get into any situation that requires you to hang from a ceiling fan by your toenails.

Leave a Reply