This is a speech one of my best friends wrote about Surviving High School. I hope you enjoy it and can learn from it! Please comment on it if you enjoy it.
Have you ever seen a high school newspaper?
Have you thought, “They need a gossip column in here”?
I know I have. When we first entered high school my friends and I all expected what we saw on television. We expected to see fights, hear gossip, and to see very many relationships tried and failed. As seen on the TV, we also assumed that if we were not “in” on the drama we would not be popular. We always said that if there was just one gossip column in the newspaper then maybe we would stay updated on what is going on in the school, maybe we would be popular. But what if you were the center of the gossip column? How would you feel? I have had very many high school experiences and I am here to share them with you. For each lesson I teach I have at least one personal experience that I can share with you as well.
Have you noticed that in high school TV shows someone is in a relationship?
Does this make you feel as though high school will bring you a steady relationship that will last? I know that it made me feel that way. Think of a television series that has a main character in a relationship. When I am talking try to think not only of what you expect but also on what you see. When you are in a relationship in high school it only brings more pressure and stress to you. I have not yet been in a relationship since my high school career started, and yet I am told that I am one of the happiest people. A relationship cannot make you happy if you cannot make yourself happy. Now think back to the television show, was the person in a relationship always happy? I am not trying to say that you should not be in a relationship in high school, what I am saying is that you do not need a relationship to get the full high school experience or to be happy in general; in fact, a lot of people are happier without being in a relationship.
I’m sure you’ll ask, “How does all this drama start?”.
The answer is two simple words: twisted words! Another way to look at it is “he said, she said.” Yes, in high school the “he said, she said” only gets worse! Look back to when you were 5 or 6. Do you remember the game “telephone”? I know this is a pitiful example, but as you pass the phrase or sentence down the line of people the words always seem to change. The person who starts might say, “I love monkeys, but they smell” and by the time is gets to the end of the line it turns into “Megan loves monkey butts that smell.” Now everyone in the class is going to think that I am extremely strange for liking smelly monkey butts. This is exactly what high school is like. Telephone can be directly related to high school drama; but until recently, when my friends and I were playing at lunch, I never realized just how similar the two were. In telephone, and high school, there is always that one person who misunderstands what is said and then they repeat it wrong. Moreover, there is also always the one person who deliberately twists the words of the person preceding them. In high school, do not be the person who twists words. How would you feel if your words were twisted and other people detested you unnecessarily?
How easy is it to say something about a person behind their back?
Think about a time that you had to read, sing, or play an instrument in front of multiple people. Wasn’t it easier to complete the task when you were not looking at the people who were looking at you? That’s the way it always seemed to me. Now consider all the means of communication that we have today. What do think are the two most popular? For our generation I would say texting and Facebook are the most popular. What is the main thing that these two forms of communication have in common? The common trait is that when you are using these two communication methods you cannot see the person or hear their voice. You do not know if they are upset, if they are being sarcastic, if they are crying, or maybe they are trying to yell at you and you are taking it as a joke. When you text or message on Facebook you cannot honestly show true emotion. Besides adding a smiley face or a sad face there is no way to show your emotions. You can add a “haha” or a “lol” so they know you are laughing, but are you being sarcastic? If you were to say these things to someone either on the phone or in person you would better understand each other because you would be able to see or hear the emotion of the other person. If you would not say it to the person’s face then don’t say it at all.
Another form of communication that is available to us is anonymous websites.
To me this is the same point as texting and Facebook. One major anonymous website of today is Formspring. This is a website where, essentially, you can ask people questions anonymously and they can answer them. The person does not have to answer the questions and they do not even have to post them if they choose not to. The problem with these anonymous websites is that, because you are not showing your identity, people feel as though they can say anything they want. These anonymous websites hurt people more than they help them. Take a minute to think, if you have a chance to say anything to anyone without him or her knowing it was you what would you say? Is there any chance that you would say anything nice? Maybe even pay someone a compliment? This particular anonymous website was created to ask people questions, but it has turned into a website where people just post rude and unnecessary things about other people anonymously. Just because anonymous websites were created does not mean we have to take advantage and use them negatively. I have said it before and I will say it again; if you would not say it to the person’s face then do not say it at all.
In the beginning of my spiel I told you to pick a TV series and think about it.
Bring that television series back to the front of your mind and think about it. A stereotypical spoof on high school; that is my very simple description of television shows based on high school life. These television shows give people like you and I reasons to fear high school. Everyone who is nearing the end of their eighth grade year strongly detests the start of their freshman year because they are nervous to enter the high school life that is portrayed in their favorite television show. Where these producers got their ideas on high school I will never know. High school is nothing like what they portray it to be. Since these television series were started these producers have created a dreadful image for high schools. When I entered high school, based on television series, I knew exactly what I expected: two or three pregnant girls, past, present, and failed relationships, rumors about everyone, cliques that only certain people were accepted into, groups of people that automatically hated me, and much more. Of course, upon the end of my first week I realized that high school was nothing like that. What I found was absolutely no pregnant girls, a few rumors, every so often a clique, no groups that hated me without getting to know me first, and a few broken relationships. Moreover, I did not just discover bad things. I discovered that in high school it was easy to make friends, you will always find someone willing to help you, and teachers that knew just how you were feeling, which of course was overwhelmed. As you can see this is nothing like the television shows we watch! I am not saying that you should stop watching your favorite television show; I am saying to continue to watch it but take the concepts very lightly. Television shows do not portray any realistic part of high school.
If I told you I did not enjoy the time I spent in high school I’d be lying to you.
If I told you that I did not have my times of troubles and my times of strength I would be lying to you as well. High school is not a place with level playing fields; it is a place of uneven obstacle courses and mountains that are created to test your strengths and weakness. Eventually you will overcome those weaknesses and be focused solely on your strengths but until then we must focus on the strengths we have and weaknesses we need to strengthen. If in your high school career you stay out of the drama but “in the loop” you will be very satisfied with your experiences. Do not take you time to involve yourself in the drama that is going on, but take your time to socialize with you peers that are around you. High school should be an enjoyable experience for everyone and it will be if you keep these things that I talked to you about in mind:
- You do not need a relationship to be happy!
- Twisted words, “he said, she said” is like a game on “telephone.”
- Texts, Facebook, or animosity, is no way to address a problem.
- All television shows are just stereotypical spoofs.
In your high school career do not be the one to start a gossip column or start in one either! Moreover, if something in your school life is not going right do not give it. Today I leave you with a poem called “Don’t Quit!” but one of my favorite authors C. W. Longenecker:
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
when he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst, that
You Must Not Quit.
Enjoy your high school experience! :)
©2011 Anthony’s Abilities. Please contact me and ask for permission before using this writing.
How have you Survived High School? Comment below to answer.