The human brain is like a tree. It starts out as a small seed in the ground, untouched and undeveloped. Much like how a child’s brain is untouched by the world and undeveloped. As a tree grows, its roots expand deep into the ground creating a strong foundation for the tree to build off of. The depth of the roots will affect the stability of the tree. For humans, our foundation is our family because that’s where we come from. Our families are our roots and if we have a stable happy family, we will have a good childhood creating a strong foundation. If your family is split up, violent, poor, etc. that will make for a hard childhood creating an unstable foundation. As a child your thoughts, opinions, habits, and actions are primarily based on the people and environment around you. If a child hears a curse word at home they are most likely to repeat it. If a child grows up in a violent family they are most likely to pick up on those actions. As people grow up they gain knowledge and experience about the world that forms personalities and opinions, each one different from the rest. No two people are the same because we all come from a different background, we have different foundations and some stronger than others. If you have two apple tree seeds, plant them in an identical environment and water them the same they still won’t grow to look the same. Regardless they will produce a different amount of apples, grow to different sizes, and will have different life spans. If you take one-thousand teenagers and put them in the same high school and the same classes they will all go on different paths. Even if they are the same age, in the same grade, and are put in the same class no two students will take the same path. This is what makes everyone different and why high school is such a struggle for some students.
High school can be the time of your life or it can be the hell you can’t escape from. School is everywhere! With parents shoving college and high expectations down our throats, social pressure from our peers , and teachers on our backs about doing our school work there is no time to grow. No to mention we are supposed to be “finding ourselves” and “developing our character”. How do we do that when our lives for four years is taken over by all of the pressures of high school. All of these factors really take a toll on the minds of students, some more than others. It’s a big struggle to have to keep your head up as life it about to hit you in the face. Most teenagers are too afraid to express their anxieties because of the judgment from other students and the uncomfortable vibe high school can give off. Everything after high school is made to sound like a “big deal”, but so is high school. The phrases “it’s just high school”, “it’s only a small stage in life”, and “well that’s just how teenagers are”, are ideas I hear expressed a lot by adults. When things like this are said to a high school student by an adult that is an automatic turn off for the student, because what that says is that the adult doesn't understand and is not going to take the time to understand. Emotions are so real no matter what stage in your life you are at. Yes, as you get older you might look back and realize that some things weren't as bad as you thought, but in the moment everything is so big and scary. Is support too much to ask for? It shouldn’t be. High schools need to support the mental health of their students and take their students seriously in order to make them feel safe and happy at school. It’s impossible for one education system to accommodate to the needs of millions of different teens around the country, who all require something different. The schooling system tries to make accommodations for students with learning disabilities and mental disorders, but accommodations are only made to a certain extent and the amount of effort it takes to get those accommodations is ridiculous.
To the adults that run our schools think back to when you were a teenager and when you had to go to school. Put yourselves in our shoes because currently we are feeling no sympathy. Sometimes we need more of a friend than a leader. The more students and teachers can come to a compromise when it comes to the rules and protocols at school, the less resistance there will be causing extra stress on both sides.