This I Believe

Anna - Godfrey, Illinois
Entered on May 11, 2006

This I Believe…

I believe that high school is survival of the fittest. Those of us who stand in the shadows and watch the socially inclined rise to the top tend to drift away in the background. In this day and age we are judged and stereotyped by everything from the clothes we wear to the music we listen to. If you’re not dressed to fit today’s trends or up to date on what everyone else is tapping their toes to on the radio, you’re pretty much marked an outcast from the beginning.

High school. The word in general sends shivers down my spine. Just the very thought of it creeps me out sometimes. Being a high school student is much like being an animal living out in the wild. Now, this is where Darwin’s theory comes into play. From day one, running with the meanest, toughest animals in the jungle becomes a key factor in your survival. Either you choose to belong, or you become defenseless prey for the rest of the wild to feed on. Granted, this may seem a little harsh in reality, but life wasn’t meant to be easy. We are faced with challenges and obstacles every single day. Facing them; now that’s the part that becomes difficult.

Whether you’re living out in the wild or trying to survive the every day life of a high school student, it’s important to find your niche; a place to belong. Everyone from the class jock, to the school nerd has their own niche; a comfort zone where they feel like they can be themselves and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. We all struggle to become something better, to impress others by our accomplishments, and hopefully to improve ourselves on a daily basis. But during this journey We have to have a sense of belonging or a place to fit in. If not, we’d have no motivation for success.

One thing that I’ve learned while in high school is that if you focus too much on what others think, it will eat away at you from the inside. We all want to feel like we are wanted or that we have a certain purpose to fulfill in life, but basing all your life decisions on others’ opinions will only work against you in the end.

Whether we like it or not, high school is one big popularity contest. If you don’t choose the right group to hang out with, you’re sort of setting yourself up for social failure. But, although we make it out to be a contest of who has the best school pictures or who’s the prettiest, or has the best looking boyfriend/ girlfriend, none of these materialistic things are going to matter later on. When these years are over, it won’t matter if we were the prettiest, most popular girl in school, or the class nerd who always got picked last in P.E.

So I will tell you this: I believe that high school can be a brutal tradition that we all struggle through in our lives. But if nothing else, remember these three things: 1) Try not to focus too much on what others think of you; it will only make you more insecure. 2) Respect others’ opinions and try to keep an open mind about things; you never know when someone may have an amazing idea. You don’t want to be too stubborn-headed to listen. 3) And lastly, do what you can to enjoy the time you have here; soon you’ll be gone and wishing you would have taken the time to stop and appreciate it.

One more thing: create your own beliefs and ideas. Don’t become a cookie cutter idea of what people want you to be. It’s important to find out who you are, and don’t be afraid to show it.