School subjects

A no-nonsense guide to high school subject folder colors

The other day, I came across an incredible shitpost-slash-meme that sparked such heated debate that I feared the PEDESTRIAN group cat would never know peace again. The premise was simple: a photo of several colored plastic folders – much like the ones that weighed down our high school backpacks – and a question that asked “what color is science?”

As soon as I dropped it in the chat, everyone went wild. Just enraged to know which color folder was the right choice for science, english, math and all the other classes we had to take in school.

Considering that we could not agree on who was who in the GC, I decided to lay down the law and write the definitive classification (guide?) of which color folder belongs to which school subject.

Don’t ask me how I worked it all out, there’s no science behind these decisions. That’s just what they are. Some colors are inextricably linked to a certain school subject. There’s no two ways about it, and certainly no arguments.

A definitive classification without arguments of the colors of school records

English is RED

English. It’s the only class that’s pretty much compulsory from kindergarten (or prep) through 12th grade. This is important and a constant in our school life.

What color means something very important or something you should pay attention to? Red.

Red is the color of English lessons. Red is authoritative and reminds us that this class usually has a lot of meaty homework. Red is for big thinking and hard work.

Red is classically the color of passion and English class is nothing if not passionate – especially the exploration of themes and ideas from the written word. You sit there and tell me that throwing your whole brain into a creative writing task isn’t a feat of passion.

Red is the color of the blood on Lady Macbeth’s hands. It’s also the color of my vision when I realized I had a huge trial and not enough time to do it justice. A classic high school English experience.

Visual art (or drama) is purple

There is something about artistic materials that makes them purple. A soothing yet creative color – the one you get by mixing two primary colors. Where else do you learn such things about the concept of color than in art class?

Purple has depth. It doesn’t grab your attention like warmer colors like red or orange, but it still ranks high on the color wheel (and our school lockers). Subjects like art, theater and music have the same energy for me.

They might be electives later in our school lives, but that means two things: the people who are there want to be there and really care about it. They probably find some kind of rest and comfort doing something they in fact passionate of. The calm of blue mixed with the passion of red.

Purple is also the color that represents the LGBTQIA+ community, do what you want with it.

Maths is BLUE

Here is one that could cause a stir: Mathematics? It’s blue, baby.

I know what you’re thinking, “but math class ain’t calm like blue at all“. But please listen to me on this.

It’s less about the energy of math and more about the mood we want to create about this subject. I don’t know about you, but the stereotypical nature of math and all its equations, training and brain training makes me want to scream. I never really quite obtained the most advanced math (which is why I stuck to general math throughout my senior years), so every time I walked into class I had a feeling of dread.

I don’t like to make mistakes or be bad at things! I didn’t like to struggle with things that came quickly to others! Why couldn’t my brain just You understand???

This is why the folders, binders, sticky notes and tabs in this class are all blue. The soothing color actively works against the frustration of trying to remember the basics of trigonometry and algebra, which I’m glad I pushed out of my brain the second I finished my final exam.

The story (or languages) is ORANGE or PINK

Not as demanding as the English course, but just as important. Orange and pink are ‘soft alarm’ colors that can be applied to multiple grades (especially in elective years), which is why they’re perfect for things like history, language or geography.

They aren’t a constant throughout your schooling – and therefore don’t need a combination of primary colors – but do require a slice of your time. Orange is the color of warmth, a tint of pleasure and a sense of devotion. Pink is soft, approachable and affectionate.

Much like artistic and creative classes, these warm, color-coded subjects are usually something you chose to study more of in your later years. So you’re there to learn but also to create a community by learning about how the world works as a dynamic system. These classes are informative, but there is also an exploratory and fun warmth.

Hence, orange and pink.

Science is GREEN

Last but not least is the most obvious choice. Science class? It’s green as far as the eye can see.

The green reminds me of the slime, experiments and toxic waste burning Radioactive Man’s clothes in The simpsons. Science (and other science subjects) is green through and through. There’s absolutely no argument to this one, and I just won’t hear anything else about it.

Physical education (PE) is also green because… the grass. Uh.

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