Does high school take away from who we could have been?

January 5, 2008
Does high school take away from who we could have been?

The place we long to leave is the place that has had the most impact on our lives.

Do you ever get that feeling sometimes you think you’d be a heck of a lot happier in another place? Another school perhaps? What is it with high school that brings out both the best and the worst in us? I’ve been thinking about this whole “high school experience” thing for a while now. It all started with a conversation I was having with a friend one evening on the computer. In the midst of a chat with her she said something that really rang true. She said, “You know school, breaks people up so badly”. And I sat there, I looked at the words on the screen for a while and thought, you know it really does, high school really does break people .

School takes up a gigantic part of our lives, we think about it all the time. School’s the place where we’ve met most of our friends, have come across most of our problems, and learned the most about things you can’t learn in the textbooks we use. High school has made us face drugs, cliques, relationships and treachery.

So based on this thought I replied to my friend “ know your right, school really does break you, but it makes you too”. In my heart I believe that school really has a big part to do with who you are, and what you want to be. And for the rest of the night we debated this. It’s really something strange to think about, but we’ve spent more of our lives in a classroom than anywhere else. How can school not shape who we are? We’re in highschool at the peak of our adolescence, right when were trying to figure out who we are. How can an institution we enter everyday not have an effect upon this “becoming” process.

All of us have changed from who we were when we entered high school. This institution has shaped us, basically molded us into different people. On the whole, you wouldn’t recognize your peers from the beginning of high school untill now. A lot of this change has to do with growing up. School matures you; it gets you ready for the bigger picture, the world at large. A lot of people face many harsh realities when they hit high school. How we deal with peer pressure is a huge part of what makes us who we are. As much as most of us shrug it off and say we don’t get influenced by our peers, every single one of us has said a certain thing, bought something, or acted a certain way to try to “fit in”.

As we try to find ourselves and shape who we want to be, we’re also trying to get together our future, praying we’ll make it into a university, college or some sort of career. Meanwhile in the midst of all of this we’re dealing with homework deadlines, backstabbing friends, parents and cheating boyfriends. And see, this is the part where many of us would agree that high school breaks you and takes away from who you could have been. Without all of this drama you definitely would have been a better person right? But see, that’s where we’re wrong. How you deal with this whole high school scene actually makes you the person you’ll be 20 years from now.

The people that balance it all of this drama make it in life; they’re the successful ones who always had a plan for everything. The people that couldn’t deal, dropped out and either made it really big on street smarts, or made nothing out of themselves. The people, who chose not to participate in all the drama and stick to the books, became the doctors and the lawyers and the leaders of our tomorrow. And the people who just tried to hold on came out stronger.

School is the training ground for life. Exactly how you deal in school is how you’ll be in the workforce and the rest of your life. People’s tendencies don’t change, and the predispositions they have for the rest of their lives will be shaped in high school. You know that one kid that always had everything colour coded and organized? That kid will always be like that, just the same as that kid that handed things in late repeatedly won’t suddenly be on time one day.

There is almost no other time that you will face as much useless but at the same time life changing drama in your life than in high school. The high school scene is always about the he said, she said, or who’s dating whom. In reality most of our parents can confirm, that you’ll probably keep in touch with one person from high school if your lucky, for the rest of your life. But despite this, we are always SO concerned with what’s going on all the time with everyone. A big reason for this concern put simply, is that at this time in our lives school is our life. School’s our entertainment, key for the future and hangout all in one. Without this institution we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves.

This is why school shapes us, as much as anything shapes us. Growing up we are all very impressionable. We don’t want to be any of the stereotypes that our schools shun, like a nerd or a loser. Because of this we try hard to not be these things, and while doing this, we discover things about ourselves.

So yes, school breaks us, but I’d say more along the lines of breaks us in for the real world. School helps us find ourselves, and find what’s been inside us all along. School makes us stronger, prepares us for the world and doesn’t take away from who we could have been but rather makes who we are more resilient. Everything shapes us, but the institution we call school breaks us, and makes us, all in one foul swoop.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

bethanibubbles said...
Jun. 10, 2009 at 12:34 am
I have felt this way alot. I try to be different than my other friends who are involved in the same things I do. I also tell myself to not judge and that everyone is special. Our society has forgotten that we need to be individuals and not groups. We could be better people if we stopped stereotyping. Keep up the good work!
Site Feedback