Tuesday, April 16, 2013

High School Responsibilities

Prayers to those affected by the Boston Marathon Tragedy. My heart goes out to them.

As I was watching the coverage and thinking about the impact this has on those who were killed and injured, I started to wonder if I could grasp the enormity of the situation if I were in high school. I think that when kids are in high school, they are completely blinded to a lot of the outside world. And no wonder! High school is this little microcosm of society within the walls of a school. There are different groups, different beliefs systems, separations between the athletes and the drama crowd, the academics and the ones who don't put a lot of effort into school, and everything in between. In this one small area, everything and everyone has a place and a purpose.

But between the ages of 14-18, the growth of these students is unbelievable and as they move through high school, they begin to realize their own place within the smaller society of high school and then, in the larger version with college. They aren't really in the "real world" until a couple of years out of college when the weight of responsibility falls squarely on their own shoulders. But are they actually prepared for this weight? For so long, they have had people hold their hand and not require them to make adult decisions because, well, they aren't adults yet. They aren't really required to look beyond their little society and into the big world because they aren't prepared to. So it really becomes a Catch 22- they aren't ready and the bigger society doesn't or can't take them until they are. This is why I believe the four years of high school are so important and why I encourage students to simply exist in this little bubble that is "High School." Because they CAN'T grasp the enormity of the world quite yet and they will have many, many years of having the weight of responsibility on their shoulders. But not during these four years. Give them a break and allow them to be a little selfish, a little standoffish, and a little out of control. After all, that simply won't fly out there- it's a completely different world...
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