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A secondary school, often referred to as a high school, is a school which provides secondary education, between the ages of 11 to 19 depending on location, after primary school and before higher education.
- High school is tough on anyone, an absolute rule of the Universe being that if high school is not a buttockclenchingly awkward, emotionally difficult, and unpleasant time of your life, then the rest of it will be a crushing disappointment. Academic success is desirable, popularity (the only thing that most students really desire) is not. Those who excel socially in high school are truly damned. The homecoming queen does indeed bear the mark of the beast.
- Craig Ferguson, Between the Bridge and the River (2006).
- But the winners are a smaller group than we'd like to think, and high school life is very different for those who experience it as the losers. They become part of the invisible middle and suffer in silence alienated and without any real connection to any adults.
The popular kids tend to be wealthier and the boys among them tend to be jocks. The Gap Girls-Tommy Girls-Polo Girls compose the pool of desirable girlfriends, many of whom are athletes as well. Below the popular kids, in a shifting order of relative unimportance, are the druggies (stoners, deadheads, burnouts, hippies or neo-hippies), trendies or Valley Girls, preppies, skateboarders and skateboarder chicks, nerds and techies, wiggers, rednecks and Goths, better known as freaks. There are troublemakers, losers and floaters -- kids who move from group to group. Real losers are invisible.
- Have I ever remarked on how completely ridiculous it is to ask high school students to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives and give them nearly no support in doing so? Support like, say, spending a day apiece watching twenty different jobs and then another week at their top three choices, with salary charts and projections and probabilities of graduating that subject given their test scores? The more so considering this is a central allocation question for the entire economy?