Lexi Paidas – Senior Column

Stop the Social Stereotyping

I’ve spent my time in high school as a pom. If high school were like the movies, the camera would zoom in as I strutted down the halls in my uniform. Crowds of students in the hallway would dramatically part, and people would stare as my hair blew in the wind like I was in a Pantene commercial. New flash: high school is not like the movies. Moving from class to class at Sherwood normally involves me weaving in between groups of people blasting music and slow walkers in an attempt to make it to class on time. I’m lucky if people even notice me waving at them in the hallways.

On my first day of high school, I showed up in my uniform expecting to be treated like I normally was before. To my surprise, people who I had been on good terms with in middle school shied away from me, and I was pushed to become friends with people I had little in common with. I loved being on poms, but the social repercussion of my newfound status made it clear to me that while I didn’t believe in the social stereotypes of high school, others clearly did. I realized that I didn’t like the way others were judging me, so I did my best not to reciprocate their behavior.

Whether you are ending your freshman year or leaving Sherwood to begin college, take a second look at your peers. As cheesey as it sounds, judging people based off their high school stereotype really does stop you from expanding your group of friends. Learning how to be open to the people around me has allowed me to make friends with all different types of people. I am extremely grateful that I learned this lesson early on because my high school experience wouldn’t have been the same without them.