How to be the winner of high school: a field guide


Graphic by Theresa Lee

Many aspects of high school often become overcompetitive as we compare our GPAs, extracurriculars and college admissions. This leads to a toxic, stressful school environment.

Alexandra Chertok, Executive Opinions Editor

Maybe watching the Super Bowl made your heart pound and kept you on your toes. Maybe the upcoming Olympic games get you excited and make you long for the thrill of intense competition. But you don’t need to go far to be part of the most thrilling, nail-biting, fiercely competitive extreme sport of them all: high school.

The first division: Competitive Sleep Deprivation. You must master the art of subtly bragging about your lack of sleep. Wear your four hours a night like a badge of honor, because we all know those who can get away with the least amount of sleep while still being able to function in school the next day are clearly superior. If you feel any physical and emotional effects from your sleep deprivation, you are weak.

Next, we’ll take a look at Competitive “Failing.” You must learn that any grade less than 91 percent is a failing grade. Make sure to sound dramatic when exclaiming how badly you failed to your classmates. When the tests are handed back, make sure to lean over and ask the people sitting next to you how they answered problem six (which they clearly got wrong) while purposefully showing off your failing grade of an A- and the smiley face sticker next to it.

Let’s not forget the true classic: Competitive Overinvolvement. Of course, you signed up for every possible sport and club that would fit your schedule at the beginning of high school, but so did all your competitors. To help yourself stand out from the rest of the pack, make sure to start a new club. It doesn’t matter what the topic or goal of the club is, and it’s okay if you don’t enjoy or care about it as long as you can advertise the club to your classmates and slap it on your resume. Don’t forget to take more classes than you can handle — if you have an SRT in your schedule, you’re sure to get trampled by your opponents.

Finally, we arrive at what is the final round of this extreme sport: Competitive College Applications. You must apply to the schools with the lowest acceptance rates. Whether a school has a good program for your intended major, whether you like the school and whether you can afford the school are irrelevant. Make sure at least three people congratulate you on their Instagram stories when you get accepted, and come to school wearing a shirt that shows off the name of your highly selective future school at least once a week.

It’s easy to get trampled and left behind on the field, but keeping these tips in mind, you’re sure to put yourself at the top of the pack.

But when the game is over, who is really winning?