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High school is a scary time for most of us. Our minds act up, our bodies betray us, our friendships are volatile, and our relationships with our parents are wonky.

But that barely scratches the surface, as we learned when Redditor Johnny_eats_sugar asked: "What confused you the most in middle/high school?"


"How everyone..."

How everyone seemingly agreed that once we were in middle school, we just stood around and talked at lunch. I still wanted to run around outside. But I guess I didn't get a vote.

jbkites

"Why some teachers..."

Why some teachers had a power complex and others were super nice.

Varvatos_Vex

"When I was in middle school..."

When I was in middle school, I didn't realize why people hated me so much. I was nice. I was relatively quiet. And yet everyone flocked to me to bully me. They'd mention my weight, my favorite music, the people I was friends with. Anything just to make fun of me. It fucked me up really badly. Once I reached high school and everyone was just more accepting in general, I couldn't figure out why I had so many friends. I had friends in nearly every clique, and I had no clue why. Why did no one like me a year ago and now suddenly I actually have friends? Man the self loathing is strong.

NyraLauphia

"Why people would ask me questions..."

Why people would ask me questions or have a conversation with me, pretending to be my friend, and then they'd make fun of me afterwards.

kiithpaktu

"They can't keep..."

The school itself. They can't keep the same staff for more than a year except for a few stragglers and then some teachers are either wildly unqualified or complete assh*les.

totallynotatugboat

Giphy

How to grow up along with my peers. Someone suggested "let's play tag!" and we did, for a few minutes. Then they all stopped and just chatted with each other. I was confused. I wanted to play, and I was crap at making conversation.

TheSanityInspector

"How some kids..."

How some kids got away with doing hard drugs. I always asked myself "where are their parents?" After high school I realized the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

chortle_me_pink

"The immaturity levels..."

The immaturity levels of the people around me always dumbfounded me.

alchemistchris

"Still there."

Still there. Why do we have so much homework? We're expected to get 8 hours of sleep, juggle family, friends and food? Get up at 6 AM and function for 6 hours and then go home and do all this homework? There's no point! My friends are all depressed, suicidal and/or sleep deprived. There's many obvious flaws to this system. I see this and I'm 16.

SulSulfromTomonea

"How the school nurse..."

Giphy

How the school nurse still had a job. During sex ed she came down and did this big presentation with the tape where we stuck it to multiple people and showed that it was "no good" to represent that people who have multiple partners aren't likely to find a good spouse because they're all used up. Then went on and on about how we should only have sex with one person, but felt the need to mention that some of us ALREADY had that opportunity taken away from us. There was a 13 year old girl who was heavily pregnant. Her 20 year old "boyfriend" was the father. The nurse glared daggers into her. I wanted to stab her so bad. I'm guessing that girls parents didn't care, and I never told any adults, but as an adult I cant even imagine the tantrum I would throw if my child was subjected to that.

trinketfox

"Still can't figure..."

Lockers. Still can't figure out how to use them, I carry everything in my bag, I love being a highschooler with elderly back problems.

Gibbet44

"That it was considered..."

That it was considered offensive if you read a comic/manga. Teachers would give me dirty looks for reading them in the library and I never knew why until recently. Teachers believed that people from the west were a bunch of devils, they also did not not realise that the Japanese created manga. I learned this from my history teacher who isn't one of those people.

datdespair

"How that one kid..."

How that one kid was able to get 10 girlfriends in a month and/or when that one girl is practically a prostitute outside of school. You all know who I'm referring to.

_Un_known

"Why everyone..."

Why everyone took more time to schedule a fight than eat lunch. Or how my sister became entitled in high school. No immediate family was spoiling her, and my mom taught us to behave so idk. High school was weird.

TyrannicalPie1999

"The transition..."

The transition of who was popular. In my middle school days the ultra beautiful rebellious kids were the popular ones. Then suddenly high school happens and the smart kids were the ones who were considered "popular"- the most popular kid in my grade ended up graduating from Stanford. He was a brilliant boy, but not who you'd picture as the most popular kid. I don't understand how we all decided that the kids who were serious were the new popular. Then all of the previous popular kids who didn't get with the new program- (take school seriously and get good grades.) Sort of became a group to pity. As many thought they'd never do anything in life.

Just funny how it switched so suddenly.

sandyblue1922

"What will make..."

What will make you successful in life? You see guys like Elon Musk, getting rockets running from books. Then we have people at school getting 99% in every subject and get a crappy 9 to 5 job. I don't get it.

srimbob

"I came from India..."

I came from India to the United States to pursue a better education. I started 6th grade and was entirely lost. 6th and 7th grade were my worst years of my life because I had no idea what I was doing there. At least I got awards.

TheGreatAhilan

"How some..."

How some of my teachers were still employed/how they were the one who got hired in the first place.

ReshiWayStone

"I've taught..."

I've taught both middle and high school, and I can tell you this:

In middle school, kids will do anything to stand out. In high school, kids will do anything to blend in.

hjnatt

"The first day..."

The first day, I didn't know where my section is and once I found it, asked if I was in the right section 10 times. I also didn't find my next classes on my own.

Lanzero25

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4


If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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