Monday, July 26, 2010

If you really knew me

There is a new television show on MTV called, "If you really knew me." The show goes around to various high schools that are suffering issues such as: racism, bullying, violence, and the many hurtful and embarrassing things that teens must deal with in high school and in life. So, a group of people that lay somewhere between therapists, motivational speakers, and camp counselors come to these various schools and put the entire class through something called "Challenge Day." Challenge Day is a day where the everyone from the school sits in small groups and divulge their deepest, darkest secrets to people from a new social click. Once the kids begin to open up and feel close to one another, they are then asked to stand behind a yellow line and given various scenarios such as: racism, bullying, drug use, etc. If anyone has ever had to deal with these issues then they are asked to cross the yellow line.

I was interested in watching this show because when I was in middle school, my 8th grade class had to partake in Challenge Day. We were an utterly terrible class; rude, obnoxious, bullies, etc. Honestly, I have heard that there was a major celebration by all of the teachers after my graduating class left middle school. Now I remember Challenge Day very clearly because it was a highly emotional and personal day. I learned so much about classmates that I had never spoken to before. On actual Challenge Day, it seemed the task at hand had worked. My grade had grown closer and seemed to have respect for one another. We all felt closer to each other- the jocks sat with nerds, the bullies quit stealing lunch money, and the popular girls who thought they were too cool for everyone, well- stayed exactly how they were. But the majority of my grade, who could think outside of the box, seemed to actually grasp the concept that everyone is human. However the effects of Challenge Day lasted only a few days because it is pretty impossible to tell 13 year old boys to stop acting like 13 year old boys.

However, I believe that if Challenge Day had occurred when I was in high school, as it does on the MTV show, that the effects would have lasted much longer. Challenge Day can perhaps help put the awful things that we all remember about high school to rest. Most importantly, I think that going straight to the source of so much teen angst (High School) is definitely important. Young Phoebe Price should have never been bullied to the point where she felt the only option was suicide.

I am sure we all have good and bad memories about high school. I had to deal with my fair share of "mean girls" on a regular basis. And though it was never fun, and I came home many days crying, I ultimately learned to ignore them. And it's true what they say: those kind of people peak in high school. So hold your head up and know that high school ends after 4 years and if you so choose, you NEVER have to see anyone from that school again.