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Finding Your Place in High School

Hi, I’m a sophomore who is highly interested in social norms. If you ever meet me and we get to know each other, I will probably bring up society or a book. This year my first two classes allow me to speak my opinions: English and AP US History. It is very interesting how people react differently to themes in books and happenings in history. Everyday I am faced with opposition to what I believe in, and that puts a lot of social pressure on me. I would love to say that I don’t conform at all, but that is impossible. But like Ghandi always says:

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

So, I walked into freshman year into a school that was made by an architect who designed prisons. But it didn’t feel like a prison. The atmosphere was and is very welcoming and free at first. Then you realize that you will be tested by the fact that the walls are concrete and the 4G LTE was only available on the third floor. 

Oh, you might also be tested by the fact that high school is an ecosystem and middle school was a habitat and high school is an ecosystem. Not only do you have to figure out what species you are, but you also want to fight that classification. That was me freshman year. I judged everyone because I myself didn’t want to be judged. Additionally, I never realized that there are only cliques when people think that they are better than everyone else, and my school isn’t like that. 

So, really I didn’t need to fight the power and stopped fighting it the end of freshman year. However, I realized it was a different type of fight when it comes to yourself and how that spreads out to every aspect of high school.

The concrete walls couldn’t keep the rumors and drama from spreading, though. It is a human's natural instinct to judge someone so you don’t get killed. Unfortunately, that has changed into judging someone by how they look or act. 

Instead of judging someone right off, you must keep an open mind to new types of people. 

High school is a larger atmosphere and therefore there are more different individuals that wouldn’t act the same way you do. For example, it was really calming to me to realize that no one was similar to me and that I was going to discover new opinions on life. But, this is also scary because people can fake it in order to get attention. So, finding real friends is hard to do when there is a sea of people who are wearing masks to get them. 

It is very hypocritical, I know. But, all the same people will be real (usually) if you are just as genuine. Take my friend Maddie. At first she seemed very nerdy and judgmental, but now I realize that her judgments are just because she is is insecure to share her beautiful personality and sassyness. Just because someone is different doesn’t mean you have to guard them from you (unless they are dangerous, of course).

In high school, it is easy to stray from the path you're on because the appealing flowers don’t look poisonous from afar. The lies we tell become truth and we are stuck smelling flowers that sometimes just die right as they were born. Immaturity and the disdain for growing up is probably why teenagers get into drugs, alcohol, and sex. But, innocence is something that is your choice and how it affects you. 

In my English class we are reading Catcher in the Rye and one day we played philosophical chairs. On this question: “Is it easier to lose your innocence now or back in the days of the book?”, I chose to go on the opposite of everyone else because I felt that even though it is easier to lose it, it is also an important choice to not let it affect you or for you to not even look for it. I strive to think like that no matter how much life tests me. 

It is important to stay strong in your beliefs even if you are opened minded.

Oh, and don’t care too much, because you can’t be yourself if you are worried what other people think about you. You get caught up in the routine of school and start to worry about petty things that might ruin your niche in school. Often times I find myself in this situation when in reality I am always out of my comfort zone so why would I try to be comfortable when it would cause even more stress? Plus, at the end of the day none of it matters and won’t in 20 years. The only thing you should care about is what is good for you. 

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