Our Most Embarrassing High School Moments

Illustrated by Jessica Marak
It’s the stuff of nightmares: sitting in a classroom also conveniently occupied by your secret crush, only to have something horrible happen. You throw up. Your pants rip. You suddenly faint. Middle and high school are some of the toughest years to get through, not only because teenagers are raging with hormones, but there's the pressure to be popular and to do and say the right things. All that on top of actually doing schoolwork, too. It’s a lot.

Yes, bad things can happen to nice people. But at Refinery29, we find that those seemingly life-wrecking moments made us stronger, better people.

We’re hoping these stories ahead will help you laugh about your own embarrassing moments. We've all been there — but thankfully, we don't have to be 15 ever again.
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Illustrated by Jessica Marak
"Laugh it up: Sixth grade gym class at a new, huge school, doing sit-ups and a girl I do not know at all is holding my feet down. As I come up to the top of a sit-up, I let an unexpected one loose. The girl holding my feet let go as if I've torched her with my fart; the class erupts into laughter. The gym teacher tries not to laugh while telling all of us: 'It's natural.'

"Want to crawl under my desk all over again."
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Illustrated by Jessica Marak
"One day in ninth grade, I was taking the bus to school and when we arrived, I fell off the bus. Like completely just fell down the stairs off the bus. I was really disoriented, not just from falling, but also because people were laughing and making fun of me. Then, I WALKED INTO A POLE, because we had this weird awning over the main entrance. I probably have head damage from that day."
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Illustrated by Jessica Marak
"I was always a hyper kid in middle school, but was a pretty good student, for the most part. I didn't know until years later that once, my school called my parents and asked if I had somehow been getting drunk before class because of my behavior. At that age, I had definitely never been drunk before and wasn't sneaking into the liquor cabinet at 7:30 a.m., I was just...being me."
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"I had the biggest crush on the captain of our basketball team and he pretty much didn't know I existed. He once called my name, and when I turned around to see where his voice was coming from, I walked smack-dab into an open locker door. I had a huge bruise and bump on my forehead for a good week.

"P.S.: He just friended me on Facebook a few weeks ago, like 13 years later. Hopefully, he's forgotten all about lockergate."
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Illustrated by Jessica Marak
"I ran out of deodorant, so I used my dad's Old Spice. At school, someone sniffed loudly and shouted, 'WHO SMELLS LIKE AN OLD MAN?' It sounds so stupid, but I was mortified."
6 of 11
Illustrated by Jessica Marak
"I passed out not once, but TWICE in the same school day.

"My school was having a blood drive and it was the first year that I was old enough to donate (I was a junior). The nurse didn't believe that I was over the minimum weight requirement, but I insisted she weigh me to see for herself. She reluctantly let me go ahead. I felt fine while I was actually giving blood. I felt fine while I was having my cookies and juice immediately afterward. I only started to feel NOT fine when I got back to class and my friend asked me if I felt fine.

"That's when everything went dark.

"My friend ran to the nurse's office, not to get the nurse, but to get a WHEELCHAIR for me. She pulled me into the chair and started wheeling me toward the office. Even in my addled state, I could tell she was wheeling me toward the senior hallway (and maybe I had a crush on one or two...or a dozen senior boys at the time). I slurred something about please please please going another way, but she must have ignored me, because the next thing I knew, we were rolling past a few of those said crushes. I hid my face, but could hear, as if from very far away, one of them asking my friend if I was okay. I was NOT okay, but not because I was basically unconscious.

"Anyway, I got to have more cookies and juice when we got to the nurse's office. I felt fine again and left. By then, the next period had started and I had math class with the same friend who wheeled me to the nurse. She asked if things were actually cool this time and I nodded. Class started, I started taking notes, then everything started going dark all over again. I grabbed my friend's arm and said, 'You'd better find that stupid wheelchair.'"
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Illustrated by Jessica Marak
"I did ballet in high school and used to stretch before school every morning. One day, sophomore year, I was running late, so I decided I'd just stretch once I got to school. As I squatted down in a wide plié in my baby-blue corduroy cargo pants (IDK, it was like 2002), I heard a rip. I had split my pants from about halfway up my butt almost down to my knee. Luckily, my butt was facing the lockers.

I backed up against them saying, 'Oh my god, oh my god,' and told my friend across from me what had happened. She couldn't believe it until I showed her the proof. She ended up saving the day, offering me a jacket to tie around my waist while we went to the counselor's office. Her mom brought a skirt for me to wear the rest of the day. Lifesaver."
8 of 11
Illustrated by Jessica Marak
"I moved to a new town in middle school and quickly developed a crush on this popular boy named Brett. It was very obvious that I liked him — subtlety has never been my strong suit. So on Valentine's Day, I decided to write him a note and drop it on his desk while everyone was milling around, passing out Valentine's Day cards. Well, he read it, passed it to his friend, and his friend proceeded to tell EVERYONE in class that I'd written it. And man, did they tease me. I remember turning bright red and just feeling so, so embarrassed. I never wrote another love note again. "
9 of 11
Illustrated by Jessica Marak
"It was the first day of seventh grade and I was starting at a new school. It was really hot, I was really nervous, and I got a terrible headache during lunch. I felt awful. I had pre-algebra right after lunch and I was sitting there feeling miserable when all of a sudden, I threw up all over the backpack on the floor in front of me. It belonged to the quiet girl who'd been tasked with showing me around on my first day. The math teacher sent me to the nurse, where they called my mom, who made me stay at school and take the bus home.

"The good news: That quiet girl became my best friend. And I'm pretty sure the math teacher felt sorry for me all year and was nicer to me as a result. Thankfully, the guy I had a huge crush on all through high school didn't start until the spring, so he wasn't witness to my public vomiting. "
10 of 11
Illustrated by Jessica Marak
"In eighth grade, I was having my second period, ever, in my athletics class and I didn't have any pads or tampons, so I used toilet paper. I finished doing my crunches, got up, looked down, and saw that the bloody toilet paper had fallen out. I looked up and saw my coach looking at it, and then I immediately walked away, leaving it on the ground. Luckily, it was the last class of the day, so I hid in the locker room until the bell rang."
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Want even more embarrassing high school moments? Join Lucie and Michael as they share their most humiliating tales, here on "Story Time."

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