Stories about high school

13 Reasons Why: Hannah lives and dies in all of us

The bathwater, initially clear blue, gradually takes on a pinkish hue. Like rose water, or fresh henna that’s come off of tattooed hands and feet immersed in a bath tub. The water overflows onto the pristine white tiled floor, making it blush. The changing colours mesmerise me. My mind unsuccessfully tries not to focus on the source of that colour. Blood. Blood that oozes out of deep slits in both forearms of a beautiful young girl. Hannah (Katherine Langford) sobs quietly and sighs deeply but refrains from screaming despite the pain from incised sinew, nerves, arteries and veins. Hannah’s muffled groans eventually ...

Read Full Post

Do we need finishing schools in Pakistan? YES!

As a fresh high school graduate, I remember resisting my mother’s assertion on how I should join an etiquette school to keep my summers productive. If it were up to me, I would have loved to vegetate on my couch and watch all the TV shows and movies I had missed out on during examination week. I vividly recall her retorting, “It’ll really help you conduct yourself with poise and dignity.” I thought to myself then, as if I wasn’t already a lady? Do I really need it? What would I possibly learn more from it? Reminiscing back to that point ...

Read Full Post

It’s about time we talk about suicide

A few months ago, I received a frantic phone call from a friend. He told me his 11-year-old son tried to hang himself. This was not the first time; he had made similar attempts in the past, and also had a history of harming himself. Luckily, the parents had intervened just in time and saved him before it was too late. The father consulted me over the phone – he was broken, and was desperately in search of an answer. He wanted to devise a plan of action that could save his child from further attempts. After many possible interventions, we drafted ...

Read Full Post

Series 2: “Checkmate” Part 5 He was a boy and I was a girl

She was a pretty little girl. Again, he was struck by the familiarity of her features. Living only a street away, it was easy to be a part of her life in many ways. She shared her school stories with him and often came over for book report help and class project ideas. She trusted his input. As she progressed in grades, she progressed in intelligence and ambition. She got excellent score in her SAT and given her high GPA, got accepted to a very good college. He was elated. Yes things had gone very wrong, but this one ...

Read Full Post

Why I’m glad I didn’t punch the guy who called my dad a terrorist

Fourteen years ago, I almost beat the living snot out of a kid in my high school. It was the last class of the school day, and everyone was glued to the TV in the room, trying to wrap their heads around what kind of a psychopath could fly planes into the World Trade Centre and murder all those people. At that point it was clear it was a terrorist act and talks about the US bombing countries in retaliation were already happening. The teacher walked out of the classroom for a second to make some copies of a homework assignment, and when she ...

Read Full Post

Paper Towns: The young and mysterious journey of self-discovery

John Green’s second book, Paper Towns, gets a movie adaptation by the same name with Nat Wolff playing the role of Quentin Jacobsen and Cara Delevingne appearing as Margo Roth Spiegelman. The movie explores the relationship of Quentin and Margo who remain best friends throughout childhood but drift away during high school. Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber, who jointly wrote the screenplay for The Fault in Our Stars, have written the screenplay for Paper Towns as well. Perhaps this is why viewers who have watched The Fault in Our Stars will find similarities in the philosophical issues discussed in Paper Towns. Although they are not the same, the tone of voice the characters use ...

Read Full Post

Named and shamed in Utah: How can you deny food to elementary school students?

Imagine this scenario. You are in high school, perhaps 11-years-old and you walk in to the cafeteria with a group of friends. You line up at the food counter, wait your turn anxiously because you have been working hard during lessons and are absolutely famished. Your turn is next. “Do I get the pizza or the burger?” You can’t decide because they both look so good and you are truly very hungry. You flip a coin mentally and decide to go with the pizza. As you proceed down the line with your tray and pizza, you see something rather odd happening in front ...

Read Full Post

Admission packages and taking students for an expensive ride

It’s that stressful time of the year when students are excited and anxious at the same time; the transition between O’levels and A’levels isn’t easy. Why you might ask? Well, it’s upsetting to many students that their parents have to put down obscene amounts of money at different A’level schools to ensure that their children have a slot to study there once their O’levels are over.  Yes, you read correctly. Schools have made a business out of students’ admission dilemma. They take advantage of our helplessness by asking for tuition fees and a security deposit in advance. However, what they fail to ...

Read Full Post

A year in America, and what I learned over there

It was in 2006 when I came to know of Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program. It is a scholarship program for students aged 15-16, allowing them to spend one academic year in the United States, where an American family hosts the student. My uncle mentioned that his 15-year-old daughter had gone to America for a year to study in an American high school on a YES scholarship. My dad asked me: “Do you want to be an exchange student in America too?” Being just twelve, I had at least three more years before I could apply to the program. However, the idea ...

Read Full Post

Cambridge result day: Anxiety and paranoia

Today I woke up in a state of pure anxiety and paranoia – much like most people my age at this time of the year. I saw my Facebook was full of scared remarks, some overly confident statuses (that add a bit more to the depression), and a variety of prayers. I have found myself praying a lot more than I usually would; making an extra effort, hoping for anything that would work. It’s the day thousands of students from Pakistan, and around the world mark on their calendars as D-Day. Cambridge O and A Level results are due today: Thursday, ...

Read Full Post