I believe everyone should be treated with respect regardless of their status in high school. Just because they are the runts of the school, freshmen shouldn’t be a target for ridicule and harassment by upperclassmen.
Don’t throw fish at fish fries. Yes they might look like miniature Steve Urkel clones with their 50s-framed glasses and a walk as if a stick is up in the wrong place, but give them a year or two. They need some time to grow up; blossom into a person worthy of belonging to the human race. They are just like you and me. We were all freshmen at one point or another, don’t you remember?
The first day I stepped foot onto a high school campus, everything crashed into a train wreck. My stomach felt as if a boxer just punched me with ten-pound weights enveloped in his hands, and I’m sure I’m not the only newcomer who felt that way. My joyous thoughts of this newly introduced place dwindled down to earth full speed ahead.
My first day agenda included retrieving my schedule in front of an entire room of upperclassmen. Standing up seems to be a difficult task when you’re a slice of fresh meat in the eyes of seniors who are just waiting to gobble you up. The world never fails a freshman; I tripped over my own shoelace and fell flat on my face in front of the individuals who had superiority over me. This gave me a feeling of utter humiliation and I began sweating bullets, but only on the inside. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone. No other fish tumbled to the ground, but they did have trouble figuring out which classroom they belonged in. Apparently some kids had difficulties in remembering the letter “C” comes before “Z” is the alphabetized list of last names; that made me giggle.
Don’t throw fish at fish fries. Every freshman has made some act of stupidity, such as my moment of pure embarrassment, during their first attempt at gaining a place in high school. It’s hard enough for these young ones to try to get on the A-honor roll, well most of them anyways, and to fit in with the crowd. They don’t need big, bad seniors degrading them when they themselves are the slackers of the school.
Don’t throw fish at fish fries. Every year the madness is repeated. Remember the agony in which you were caused as that microscopic dot on the high school power grid. I’m a freshman. You are a freshman. We are all freshmen. We are all equal. Treat them the way you would like to be treated.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.