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High School Diaries

Tales that go beyond prom and SATs, sharing the real stories of teenage life.

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How Living With Baboons Prepared Me for Living Through High School

The world of mean girls and cliques was a startling change from working alongside my primatologist parents. Fortunately, I’d learned a bit about navigating vicious social...

Before Parkland, Santa Fe and Columbine…There Was Concord High

In 1985, a 16-year-old dropout showed up to school with a shotgun. Everyone said it was just a fluke.

How a Homeless Stint in High School Brought My Family Together

While my friends focused on school crushes and prom dates, my recently evicted family shared a bleak motel room—and finally faced how my mother’s mental illness led us there.

Graduation Day at Addiction High

My son was caught in a catastrophic cycle of overdoses, ER visits and psych holds. Then a group of fellow addicts set his life back on track—and gave me a new lease on my own.

Just Like Me

After coming out in high school, a gay teenager gains poise and confidence, until a history teacher provides an unwanted spotlight.

Teacher’s Pet Goes Astray

A high school drama student loves nothing more than basking in the glory of her favorite teacher, until an early encounter with email delivers disastrous results.

Launch Party

What happens when you teach hundreds of high schoolers how to build catapults, inject an unruly dose of adrenaline, and sit back and watch? On one Ohio campus, it’s called...