High School Tips

By Dan Bergstein

     High school doesn’t have to be the horrible, soul-crushing experience that your older sister went through. Use the tips in this guide (now with more verbs!) and instead of feeling like a trip to the dentist, high school will feel more like a trip to an insensitive insurance broker who won’t invite you to his cool pool party even though you’ve been friends since the first grade.

Dress:

     All T-shirts should either promote a band that no has heard of, or the shirt should be ironic and cost more than $34. Your pants should also be ironic, as should your hairstyle and all mouth jewelry. Your shoes, however, should be sincere. You socks should be sarcastic. Your belt should be disingenuous. And your gloves should be candid, unless it’s after Labor Day. Which it will be, no doubt, as that is when many schools start.

Myths:
     Not everyone has to have sex on prom night. Stop stressing. It’s not like Columbus Day, when everyone automatically has to think about America, and what about the Vikings in Newfoundland, anyway?

Facts:
     -The key to successful essay writing is knowing the difference between “There” “Their” “They’re” “Thar” “The’r” and “Thor.”
     -“There” refers to a place, such as Idaho or some stairs. (e.g., “He fell down over there, while visiting the lovely state of there.”)
     -“Their” is a possessive word. It means “not yours.” (e.g., “The word ‘their’ sounds like ‘pear,’ but with a “th” sound in the front. Oh, right—lose the “p” before you put the “th” in front.)

     -“They’re” is a contraction of the word “they” and any word that ends or begins with “re” such as “are,” “renaissance” or “care.” (e.g., “They’re going to visit you in the hospital because they’re about you very much.”)
     -“Thar” is what you say when you see symbolic whales. (e.g. “Thar is that whale, Leroy.”)
     -The’r is a contraction of the words “the” and “air” used primarily by poets and lazy text messengers. (e.g. The’r was clean and crisp as thar whale appeared.)
     -And Thor is the name of my fish. (e.g. “Thor is is the name of my  fish.”)
     -Your main focus during high school should be getting into college. To do this, you should join as many clubs and organizations as possible—except maybe the a-capella group—to show off. You should also join the military. You should also adopt a few dogs (ugly, sickly ones). You should also donate a kidney to someone—someone of a little-known minority race. If you’re bow-legged, cut it out. You should also build houses for the poor. Colleges love that. Build some for the rich too, because you don’t want to seem wealthist.  
     -You should also play an instrument. If you don’t have time to learn a hard instrument, pick something easy like the trumpet. The trumpet only has three keys. How hard can that be, right? The harp is too hard—ridiculous—and it also says, “Whoever plays me would probably be better off carding wool.”
     -Curb math anxiety by placing a small spider in your ear. The math anxiety will be eclipsed by the sudden onset of spider anxiety. (Note: Spiders can be wily and may try to leap away. For best results, trap the spider in your ear with a palm-sized piece of plastic wrap and a rubber band.)

Teacher Types:

     High school teachers, especially the new, tiny ones, are afraid of you. Use this.

Possible Answer (if called upon):

     “Cosine of 30-degrees,” “Man vs. Society,” or, “Whatever. Two more months, and I’m out of here.”

Pro Tip:

     Shut up about the weekend you spent at your sister’s college. No one cares.
 
Dan Bergstein once extinguished a forest fire using nothing but his own tears, according to his autobiography and this song he wrote.

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