Making fun of high school kids or jr. high kids that are stressed out by school is not cool. Their stress is real and a lot of them are trying their best with somewhat fewer life experiences than adults.
Also, school is fucking awful, and yes, it is probably worse than you remember it being at that age. (I may have written on this topic before: http://moniquill.tumblr.com/post/27690531114/posting-because-i-dont-have-a-radical-education-reform )
I’ve only been out of secondary school for four years and already I’ll think of how something was done at school (limited bathroom breaks, 6+ hours of class a day, etc) and get horrified because how could that have happened. How could it all have felt so /normal/ and /awful/ all at once. Like, its your entire world, its the only thing you’ve ever known… I’m in university now and as hard and awful as it can be, I still think back to high school and feel vaguely nauseous.
Funny story. When I was in middle school, we were taught a unit on 1984. And I remember thinking, at the time, that Winston just needed to suck it the fuck up and quit whining about it because seriously he had way more personal freedoms than I did. It was presented to us in the ‘Introduction to Dystopia’ way, where we were supposed to be horrified at:
Big Brother watching you through the TV…while there were cameras in every classroom and hallway.
Perpetual War…while we studied middle eastern conflict in current events. While none of us could ever remember a time when there WASN’T US occupation somewhere in the middle east.
Public manipulation and propaganda…while getting disciplined for reading banned books and penalized for utilizing outside sources. (Seriously I got in trouble for having read literary analysis and basically had to have a plagiarism meeting with my teacher and some other staff because I knew too much about writing essays) while reading textbooks that had decided spin and omitted any information that wasn’t about the gumption and heroism of dead white dudes with an occasional token politically scrubbed model minority.
At least Winston Smith was allowed to travel 500 feet without a hall pass and allowed to go to the bathroom without asking. My middle school was more Orwellian than Orwell could have imagined.