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High school from a petite perspective

By Emma Exon

High school can be a scary time for people of all heights. But with the average high school girl being around 5’4 and the average guy being 5’9, I can’t help but feel that I’m being left behind. I’ve been short my whole life, but I never really noticed the extent of which until this year. Here are just a few things that helped me to realize that I may be vertically challenged.

  • The hallways: Okay, I think we can all agree that passing periods are hectic. But the issue for me is that I can never see over the person directly in front of me. Sometimes people won’t even see me when I am literally right in front of them. Near the beginning of the year, a group of towering boys ran into me and knocked me to the ground, stepped on my phone, and kept walking. At first I thought they were just being obnoxious and rude, but that I realized that they legitimately didn’t see me. These guys were easily a foot taller than me and were racing to see their friend. They just weren’t looking down. This isn’t the first time I have literally been overlooked either. At a certain intersection right before the language hall, I have been known to grab onto a stranger’s backpack praying they won’t notice so they can unintentionally guide me through the chaos. And when I walk with a friend, I can almost never keep up. My little legs don’t move that fast.
  • The bus: I normally ride the bus to and from school. For many this is an everyday task no one thinks twice about. But I dread it everyday. My feet don’t reach the ground whenever I sit down, and I never know where the bus is headed because I can’t see over the seat without craning my neck to peer out the windshield.
  • The jokes: Teenagers can be abominable. I can’t help but laugh at some of the “original” jokes they come up with. Asking me if I fit in my locker, if I can reach that, calling me “cute” when I’m actually quite angry. It all gets pretty tedious. News flash: I am not an armrest. I don’t enjoy being picked up, and no, I don’t shop in the children’s section.
  • Classes: If I do somehow manage to make it to my next class without getting lost in the crowd or trampled first, there is a high likelihood that someone significantly taller will sit in front of me. Constantly having to move seats just to see the board gets old really fast.

Even though it has its downsides, being petite isn’t all that bad. After all, I am fun sized. I can fit into really small spaces that other people can’t, I don’t need to buy new clothes very often, since most things fit big anyways, and it is still socially acceptable for me to order off the kid’s menu. I may look small, but I am convinced that I’m strong. And although it can make school, or really any public gathering a little bit more difficult, I have good friends that will always be there to get that one book off the top shelf.

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