11 Very Specific Things That Were Extremely Embarrassing In High School

A few weeks ago, I was innocently scrolling through TikTok when I was overcome by a wave of embarrassment — an extremely specific, incredibly powerful embarrassment that I hadn’t experienced since high school.

It was all thanks to this TikTok by @siarnegill, which reminded me how embarrassing it was taking an umbrella to school — even when it was raining.

@siarnegillreally though ##fyp ##australia ##HorrorTok♬ … is sweaty – Kellan


As a 29-year-old, it’s hard to put my finger on exactly what the hell was so deeply embarrassing about taking an umbrella to school. When I tried to explain the feeling to my boyfriend — who apparently never experienced this firsthand — it was borderline impossible. The only way I could get close to explaining the sensation was to come up with a list of equally horrifying high school experiences.

Here are some extremely specific and, for some reason, very embarrassing things that we all had to deal with in high school.


1. Carrying a project into school that was too bit to fit inside your bag.

2. Walking into school on the first day back after the six-week summer holidays.

3. Checking the bottom of your shoe after someone in your group said they could smell dog poo.

And let’s not even dare discuss the shame of actually being the one who did step in something.

4. Walking to the canteen by yourself because nobody else wanted to go with you.

5. Wearing new sunglasses for the first time.

Honestly, I’d rather just stare into the sun for the entirety of recess thanks.

6. Dressing appropriately for the weather — whether it was in a skivvy, coat, or thick stockings when everyone else was wearing sheer ones. 

7. Having short socks that weren’t quite short enough. 

There was nothing worse than ankle socks that actually sat above your ankles.

8. Opening your lunch box to see that something had spilled or burst inside. 

9. Being seen at the shopping centre with your parents by people who were just with a group of friends.

10. Having a new teacher mispronounce your name when reading the roll.

Gian? Guy-anne? Gee-ann?

11. Taking something to school in a bag that wasn’t from Supré.

A plastic bag from Woolies would NOT do! It had to be a Supré bag or nothing — I would have preferred to just leave whatever I had to carry at home than take it in a crumpled Big W bag.