Schoooooool. It always makes me think deep thoughts. Maybe because I actually experience more when I'm there; I'm dealing with 2500 people (roughly) and the freshmen are, well, pretty obnoxious. Not to mention classes, where God loves to bop me on the head with spiritual and life lessons while history and science shove facts down my throat. Not like I'm particularly bothered or anything (I like learning), but it can get overwhelming sometimes...
But that's besides the whole point of this post, so let's move on to that.
Today I was in the line for lunch. I was standing idly. I got distracted with talking to a friend. We chatted and had fun.
Then this freshman decided to attempt to cut me. I kept inching forward to change my position to the point where he wouldn't be able to go in front, but he kind of nudged me out of the way. Then he was holding his nose and said, "Ew, you smell. Do you ever take a bath?"
Ouch. Yup, this stuck up freshman was being a total jerk to a junior. I didn't say anything. I didn't bother with him. (It was actually rather wonderful to be able to have it roll of my shoulders that easily. Even just a few months ago it would have had me in tears.) I just let him cut in front.
Because he'll do something similar with someone else, and they will verbally murder him. They will be as rude and inconsiderate as he is. Because once you reach high school, nobody takes BS from anybody.
Except for, you know, some people. Me sometimes; it's about fifty fifty and is all dependent on the sort of BS I get.
Another thing that happened in English... The English teacher handed out to us permission slips for R-rated movies. Now, I've seen some of R-rated movies (really, parts of them) and my parents only on occasion watch certain fairly "toned down" R movies. The English teacher was all like, "Hey guys, just check the permission so you can see the movies. You're all mature enough, I mean we're watching movies like Crash for example."
What she apparently didn't understand was religious morals and values families may have. It doesn't matter how mature you are, it matters what you want to expose yourself to. For example, I'd probably read an "adult content" book if that adult content wasn't cussing and didn't have explicit sexual description. I could probably handle that cussing and sexual description; however, I want to be opened to more positive experiences. My church advises against stuff like that, and I proudly follow what my church teaches.
My joy at turning in the permission slip also apparently passed by her; she read my happiness as it meaning I was happy to be able to watch the movie. When she found out that the thing I had check marked was "no" (and I actually filled out the WHOLE THING, all my mother did was sign) she instantly passed by my happiness and offered to call my mother to explain things to her so I could watch the movie.
These are just two examples of stuff that everyone has to deal with. Sometimes it's in middle school; sometimes you're in high school before you realize that people suck.
Either way, to keep yourself strong in this adversity is really hard. People will be cruel and beat you up - sometimes physically and not just mentally/emotionally - and think that it's "your parents" or something that's not YOUR choice. High school is when everyone says, "The kid can decide it all!"
But honestly? I still let my mom handle a lot of my decisions. I'm not ready for bills or a family. I am not mature enough to decide whether or not I should/can go to an alcoholic party. I mean, personally, I've never been invited to a party and SO BADLY want to go to one... but if it has alcohol in it, I shouldn't go. I probably would anyway.
It's been a political scheme, an ignored fact by teachers, and something everyone takes for granted. Now that we're fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, and even eighteen, we are smart enough to do all these things and mature enough to watch things like R-rated movies; nothing else should matter. But it does matter. I don't care that you're eighteen years old, you're still a teenager. Me, at sixteen (almost seventeen!) years old, am still a kid.
Maturity does not come overnight. As teenagers, we need to remember that are parents often... really do know best. As adults, people need to remember that kindness is key. "Do unto others as you would them do unto you" is the Golden Rule for a reason.
And, on top of it all, we need to remember that without morals, civilization and structure would fall completely apart. So stay strong in the face of adversity; and encourage your friends to hold true to what they believe.
In the modern world, sometimes the medieval basics are the best to fall back on.
(but, within reason. Let's not, y'know, bring back the horrifying medieval torture instruments back, or anything...)