Cross the Line

May 2, 2011
In early March, I was fortunate enough to experience an incredible program called Challenge Day. However, I wasn’t a typical participant, as I was a teen leader. Teen leaders are anyone who experienced Challenge Day before, allowing them to lead group activities for the other participants. What made Challenge Day incredible was how it brought a diverse group of Commack students together to show them each other from a new, more personal, prospective. By a new prospective, I mean uncovering the issues that people deal with that shape their personalities and their appearances. Information like that is extremely eye-opening because it teaches students not to judge others, as there is no such thing as a perfect kid (everybody has their own issues and/or faults, whether they can control them or not).

All students in every high school should have the opportunity to experience Challenge Day. It is imperative for all students to learn about each other in a way that can help eliminate bullying and violence. Nobody should be harassed because of his or her differences. Most kids do not understand that, they just view the “different” kids as targets for them to release their anger at. After attending Challenge Day, anyone would feel incredibly foolish for ever acting or thinking with that mindset.

The most powerful activity in Challenge Day was called “Cross the Line.” During “Cross the Line,” everybody stands in a line as categories are called. These categories are life-experiences that are crucial to shaping a person. To me, the hardest ones to watch were students that have either lost a parent, been a victim of abuse, or have had someone close to them commit suicide. I feel that no child should ever have to experience such horrors and expect to be perfectly normal. Additionally, I found that anyone who I believed had a perfect life seemed to “cross the line” more than most students. What that observation really means is that those students are better at hiding their problems than most others. Additionally based on that discovery, the famous quotation, “The grass is always greener on the other side,” can be demonstrated to be false. Hopefully, the lessons learned from Challenge Day will stay with the participants for life, truly changing the world around them!

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