Always On the Shorter Side of Things


Hannah Kinson, Writer

Getting lost in the crowd? Stuck in the 20th percentile for height? Can’t reach the top cabinet?

Franklin High School’s students that are shorter than the average height relate to many of these problems and grow impatient with their height. The most common situation that short students face is the typical, “Oh you’re an upperclassman? I thought you were a Freshman.” Many find that it gets old quickly.

Throughout the school day when each hallway is crowded with people towering over her, Sara Long, a Junior who stands at 5’2”, dodges around students going to class. Her maneuvering strategies are more passive than aggressive and she says: “I walk pretty fast and try to avoid people.”

Being able to make it across the school during passing time can also cause complications for short-legged people, making it hard to get to class exactly on time. The excuse of short legs was often used in the larger, old high school by many stunted students, including Melissa Karp, 2014 Franklin Alumni, who stands at 4’11.

Along with troubles in the hallway, crowds do not favor short people either. Many “shorties” cannot see two feet in front of them when in crowded areas and struggle to figure out which direction to go in. Sara Long states: “I don’t try to look over people because it will never happen, so I work my way to the front.”

Being in the front is preferred by the majority of shorter students, especially in the classroom, and they do not have to worry about obstructing someone’s view. Long laughs at the idea that she could ever be tall enough to block someone’s view during class.

When sitting on the chairs at the high school, the problem of having short legs is quite observable. If sitting all the way back in the chair, her feet hang inches away from the floor, but Long indicates that when she is sitting on the edge, her feet are able to touch the ground.

Another height-deprived Junior, Jess Simms, stands at 5’2” and lives in a short household with her dad at 5’10”, her sixth-grade brother at 4’8”, and her mom who reaches 5’2.5”.

Simms says her mom: “Is all about the half [inch].”

To make up for their lack in height, everything inside their house is within reaching distance while standing on a step stool, which the Simms Family has a few of for whenever they need something from the top shelf.

While being fun-sized seems amusing most of the time, being able to buy a good pair of pants that fit well feels like a dream to most people under 5’4”.

Both Simms and Long agree that every pair of pants they own crinkle below their ankles. Jeans are already expected to be hard to buy for all sizes, but Simms states: “Even when I’m wearing leggings they crinkle too.”

Long adds that: “I would kinda like a pair of pants that fit, but they probably don’t exist.”

Driving creates another set of annoyances that short people have to face everyday. In order to reach the pedals, many compact drivers have to pull their chairs forward until the steering wheel is only inches away from their body, which creates a rift in a morning routine.

The sun visor also is a problem for small drivers and only works during certain parts of the day. During the mornings and early afternoons, the sun visor does little to help with blocking out the brightness.

Simms asks: “I don’t know who those things are made for, people who are six feet?” Sara Long wears her sunglasses to dim the sunlight.

When asked for what they thought the perfect height was, Simms believes it is between 5’3” and 5’5”, because that is the average height for women, whereas Long believes that 5’7” is the best height because it reaches the required height for a Rockette, which is 5’6” to 5’10.5”.

However, when asked if they wished to be taller, both answered with a firm “No.”

Simms says that being taller than most people would make her uncomfortable. For Long, she reveals that being taller than others is exciting but: “Being short has it’s perks, it has helped to shape the person that I am today.”

For more relatable “Shortie” problems, click here.