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Yup, those glittery nails ARE a distraction.

If, like me, it’s been a few years since you bid secondary school farewell, I think we should discuss just how bizarre some of the ~rules~ actually were.

I don’t mean rational rules like no fighting or shouting out in class, but things that seemed a bit more absurd.


Like having to ask permission to remove your blazer or jumper.

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We aren’t lucky enough to be blessed with 365 days of sunshine in Britain, but even so, sometimes it’s wayyy too warm for a jumper. Even on the stuffiest of days you weren’t allowed to throw caution to the wind and take your layers off without permission. And I’m sure we all had that difficult teacher who would say no.


Or having to wipe your makeup off before you’ve even reached first period.

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Full on glam, birthday style makeup I could understand, but a bit of concealer should be allowed! Secondary school is hard enough, if I want to cover my chin acne, let me.


Wearing nail polish to school was treated like a criminal offence.

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Remember that heartbreaking feeling when your form tutor would get the bottle of nail polish out before you’ve even had a chance to show off your fresh manicure. I mean, come on, what’s the harm in a little gel polish?


And if your tie wasn’t exactly 15cm in length, you got an email sent home.

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It’s understandable that students should stick to a dress code to look presentable, but sending an email to the parents over something as petty as this seems like a major waste of time to me.


We all forged our parents’ signature in our planners because otherwise it would be another late finish.

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I admit the thinking behind getting your planner signed to show your parents you’re doing your homework makes sense, but in hindsight, it was so easy to forge your parents’ signatures that it was kind of a flop. If anything, it turned us all into aspiring fraudsters.


Oh, did you really just dye your hair? Enjoy detention!

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At least in my school, any form of hair dye that wasn’t deemed ‘natural’ was banned. Am I the only one who was gutted that I couldn’t partake in the candy floss pink hair trend?


Was there anything more stress-inducing than knowing you’d forgotten your protractor for the third time in a week?

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I know, I know, we need to be responsible and remember our belongings, but we all know every teacher had a drawer of spare equipment anyway.


Treating school corridors like the highway code was barmy, and it was an after-school detention if you didn’t walk on the left hand side.

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I will never forget walking back to class in an empty corridor, and a teacher stopping to tell me the “left hand side rule” and then giving me detention. I went to a large secondary school, so walking in one direction on the left made sense during peak times, but why was it treated as a sin to walk on the ~wrong~ side of the corridor when it was empty? WHERE is the congestion, sir?!


POV: you just ran several laps around the field and now you have five minutes to change before your next lesson.

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I don’t know about you guys, but my P.E. lessons were *never* the last lesson of the day or before lunch. That meant we had less than five minutes to change into our uniform and run to class looking sweaty and feeling frazzled. Sorry, but I need a moment to compose myself.


I’m sorry, but HOW is drinking your own water disruptive behaviour?

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This is definitely a rule I’ve blocked out since school. Having to ask to drink from your own water bottle really was bizarre! Especially when you were suffering with one of those awful chesty coughs and needed to chug water every few seconds.


Remember wasting ten minutes of your lesson time standing behind your chair because the teacher hadn’t said you could sit down yet?

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I was a well-behaved student, but this totalitarian rule was too much for me! Now we have to cram 50 minutes worth of content into 40 minutes – not to mention a talk about ‘discipline’ first!


Or getting a pass-agg lecture from your teacher because you stared out of the window once during a 50-minute lesson?

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Look, I do sympathise with how annoying it can be if it looks like someone isn’t paying attention, but expecting a teenager’s undivided attention after several hours in school is a lot to ask.


Sometimes, the punishment for skipping class was being suspended… Make it make sense!

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I can’t lie, you’d have to bunk off A LOT to get suspended, but it still doesn’t track to me. Surely letting me skip more classes is a reward?


Did anyone else get told off for disrupting a class when you just knocked to ask for more whiteboard pens?

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One of best things to happen in school was when you would get sent off to fetch something for your teacher. Sometimes, it would be from another teacher, and if they were in the middle of teaching a class at the time, they would take immense pleasure in cussing you out for “interrupting” their flow for like extra A4 paper or something.


Remember how anxiety-inducing plucking up the courage to ask to go to the toilet was?

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It was either “wait until the end of class” or “you should have gone at lunch.” Well, not to sound too cliché, but I didn’t need it then and now I have to cross my legs for the next 30 minutes. Thanks.


Was it just my school that didn’t let you eat your packed lunch in the cafeteria?

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The cafeteria in my school was for hot dinners only, so if your friend had a packed lunch, you’d either have to sneak them in, or bid farewell until your next class.


Also, you didn’t have time to finish your lunch before class? Sorry, no food in the classroom! Better throw it away.

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As I mentioned earlier, I went to a large secondary school, meaning queuing up for food could take up most of your lunch break. There was nothing more heartbreaking than throwing away your iced bun because the bell just rang. 💔


And finally, this still haunts me… How grim was it having to wear clothes from lost property if you forgot your P.E. kit?

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If, like me, athleticism simply doesn’t run in your genes then P.E. was bad enough without having to dig through a box of musty old clothes to wear because you left your kit at home. Hands up if you ever considered staying in your uniform instead 🙋‍♀️.

What things did your school enforce that looking back just don’t make sense? Let us know in the comments!


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