Complaint Box Series

1. Dude let me wake up

Marco Lainez ’23

        There is something about people who take naps that just attract questions from whoever is around them whenever they wake up. People around you have a particular urge to nail you with questions when you have just woken up from a nap. Good or bad, they just lay it all on you. I firmly believe the term ‘cranky’ is because people nail us with questions when we have just woken up from one of the best naps we have ever taken. 

        For example, in the summer of 2020, my family and I flew out to the great state of Wyoming to visit my grandfather on my mother’s side. On the plane, I got the most luxurious middle seat in the world, crammed in between two strangers, with a mask on my face and a seat that did not recline. 

        Now I am not one to complain, but I quickly realized how this plane flight would go. So thinking I was taking the initiative, I decided to close my eyes and attempt to nap so I did not have to deal with any of the circumstances I was in. Eventually, I did fall asleep; I do not know for how long, but when I opened my eyes, we were on a descent to Wyoming. My father called my name from the aisle across from me immediately. He started nailing me with questions about a football teammate of mine. “Hey, do you know where Carl is going to visit? Which schools have offered him a scholarship? Would he enjoy a Division 3 school?” One right after another, like punches. 

        Still asleep with groggy eyes and still trying to get my wits about me, I said to each of the questions, “Uh, what? Yeah,” to which he responded with, “What’s got into you, what’s the attitude for?” The fire that ignited inside my chest burned brighter than a Thanksgiving bonfire. I mean, I just woke up; give me time, and maybe my responses would not sound like I just got tackled by a 275-pound linebacker who blitzed up the A gap. 

        Whoever coined the term ‘cranky’ was just an inquisitive person who could not stop asking questions to their loved one who just woke up. 

        Another example, after a long day of school, I showered, crawled into my bed, set a timer for an hour, and then drifted off to sleep. After the nap, I got up from my bed and walked downstairs. Mom was making dinner in the kitchen, as soon as she saw my being… ‘hey, I need you to do this, this and this, oh and do not forget to do this by the end of the week.’

        Now she is my mother, so I do not talk back. But let me tell you, I almost bit off my tongue with the rage I had. Give us time when we wake up. We will not be cranky.

2. My Pet Peeve, Homework

Josh Ouellette ’22

         I don’t remember when school became so exhausting. 

         Back in my home country, Canada, homework was almost non-existent. I was accustomed to the nights without worry or stress, going to bed at earlier hours and playing with friends outside. Those were the good days. 

         Before I moved to The Hun School of Princeton for school, that was all. My lifestyle completely changed… for the worse. Even though I loved everything about The Hun School, homework became my biggest pet peeve. Having nights where I went to bed at 1 am because of the assignment was now part of the routine of weekdays. Nights, where I had two essays, two tests to study for, and reading were not rare anymore. One homework by itself doesn’t directly affect me, but when multiple assignments are due, I simply become livid and do the bare minimum. 

         I recognize that homework is worth the time and effort put into them, and at The Hun School, they are directly rewarded by points given for assignments done, but the thought alone of doing them itches me from deep within. I’ve always been a “listen in class” type of student. To me, schoolwork should be done during school hours. Invading the life of young teenagers with, sometimes, an overload of work is unhealthy for everyone. 

         “Because homework tends to act as a stressor in students’ lives, their bodies must find a way to respond or react to this stressor, and although research has shown that some level of stress can be healthy, chronic stress can induce negative physical, mental, and behavior outcomes” (Galloway). This quote from Mollie Galloway, a specialist in studying work overload concerning students, adequately represents what I am feeling on some nights. The stress coming from all the work is negatively affecting my everyday life. I wouldn’t say that homework depressed me, but it did change my temper. I am tired and physically exhausted. I know this is not only me, but homework is a pet peeve for me, unlike other students. 

         Like I said previously, homework is rewarded with “free points” when doing homework. It’s a good idea, but it hurts my grades. Where I used to get 90’s, I now only get 65%. 

         Homework, which is supposed to help the students study and increase grades, became my worst enemy.

3. Bombarding Attacks by Colleges

Lexi Thomas ’22

        In the United States, the Department of Education tallies over 3,500 colleges and universities. While some may be more illustrious than others, every college has exceptional educational opportunities to add to its communities. But why do all of these colleges have to flood my inbox all of the time? Like, seriously? 

        I remember taking my PSAT for the first time. It was amidst the pandemic, so I had to take it virtually. When I initially registered for the exam, I skipped over the fine print (as most of us do). I continued, assuming that my information would only be given to CollegeBoard, the application where I took my exam. Well, I was soon proven to be wrong. While they were not required, I put down my home address, school address, and email address. And this has proven itself to be one of my biggest regrets yet. 

        A few weeks after the exam, I went home to pick up some of my mail. When I peered into my mailbox, I was taken aback by the number of brochures, magazines, and even small packages jammed into the overflowing metal box. Looking through the colleges, I had a hard time recognizing a single one – schools with less than 4,000 students and 40 percent enrollment retention rates were begging for my attention. I found it odd at the moment but brushed it off and continued with my day, unknowing of the torture of higher education promotion that would soon consume my day-to-day life. 

        Fast forward to my senior year of high school, these colleges’ invasion of every mail system has done nothing but worsen. Every day, I open my email and select over 30 emails to delete from my inbox, delivered from numerous colleges and universities. I come home every weekend to a pile of mail stacked up on my bed, dauntingly placed there by my well-meaning parents. 

        The obnoxious advertising colleges and universities place on high school students is atrocious. While I wouldn’t mind signing up for an email list for a school I was interested in, a college in the middle of Oklahoma with a 98 percent acceptance rate doesn’t pique my interest, so why am I getting over five emails a day from them? And even if I unsubscribe from these lists, they find other ways to reach out to me. The worst I’ve ever seen was a text message from a school immediately after I’d unsubscribed from their emailing list. 

        Colleges should not push students who plan to pursue higher education to decide whether or not to attend. It is almost always certain that students conduct their research to discover a school that suits their needs. Being bombarded with mail by colleges and universities is the last way students – well, particularly me, express interest in them.

4. Bad Parking

Zachary Aamland ’23

        Every time I pull into the school parking lot, there is a struggle to find parking. Not because there aren’t any open spots, instead, it’s because of the number of cars sticking over the lines making it impossible to park and get out of the vehicle. It’s not even like this just happens at school either; it’s practically everywhere. 

        One day, I was at a Wawa to get gas and grab something to eat; this was the only Wawa for miles. I got gas and then went to the park to go inside and grab some stuff. After driving around a little, there was only one open parking spot. It sounds like I got lucky, but it was the complete opposite. The last spot was impossible to get into because the car next to it was nearly half over the line. 

        I waited around for about 5 minutes to see if someone would leave so I could get in when they pulled out, but to my surprise, no one walked out. I ended up getting another spot since someone else left, but I was still highly annoyed that whoever’s car cares that little about parking. 

        While I was walking up to the door, someone walked out, went over to the parked car, and got in. I thought about saying something like, “please learn to park. You are causing difficulties for others,” but I didn’t want to start anything, so I just didn’t say anything. The person wasn’t even a physically impaired or older person. They looked young and utterly healthy, so it’s not like I could feel bad for them and get over their park job. 

        I feel like lately, I have seen more and more people parking like a delinquent and not caring about anyone else around them that also needs to park. I think there needs to be more of a push to make sure people take the time to learn how to park correctly. More technology is coming out for new cars to help people with parking, but still, so many people still can’t park with this technology. 

        I think that more people should get handed tickets for horrible park jobs because it’s not like they can’t tell if they parked bad or not because they get out of the car so they can look to see if they are good or not. I also believe parking should be a part of the driver’s test, so people have to learn how to do it properly for their test. There aren’t any excuses for this problem, so I hope more is done to help prevent it.