Roving Teen Reporter: Casting Out Stereotypes
As I can imagine many others did, I came into high school with a stereotypical expectation of what high school was like implanted in my brain. I had groups of students divided in my mind — the jocks, the cheerleaders, the nerds, the artists, the surfers, etc. And, though I did not try to distinctly place myself into one of those movie-scene groups, I vaguely considered where I might find myself fitting in, and where I would not.
Now, a few years later, it would of course be redundant to say that the stereotype of high school is exactly that: a stereotype, and an outdated one, at that. Yet, it would be naive to say that those groups don’t exist at all, because they do, and each one seems to offer different experiences for different people.
Perhaps the most prominent and commonly-stereotypical group at Torrey Pines are the athletes. Being an athlete myself, I know that being on a sports team represents so much more of the high school experience than just the fame and the varsity jacket. Our team is truly a microcosm of the school, with people of all grades, interests and ideas coming together to achieve a goal together.
“Being a high school athlete for Torrey Pines is an amazing experience,” my teammate Rachal J. said. “It’s fun, challenging and inspiring. I gained many more skills, one of which is teamwork. I now know how to work as a team [with others] … to achieve something great as a team.”
High school athletes aren’t confined by that one label; rather, it is just one aspect of their person and their experience. So, similarly, high school artists of all kinds are not defined by solely that either.
According to Jenny L., who creates art at school and at home, doing art is just another hobby like playing music or sports with its own community and experiences. “Since art’s really a thing that can be done whenever [you want], you constantly get to be motivated by this community around you,” Jenny said. “Also, by being an ‘artist,’ you get that freedom … of self-expression.”
Both athletes and aesthetes indeed seem to have their own differences and distinctions in creating a unique four years for each high school student. Yet, both groups, and all groups at that, are united by the students’ desire to succeed in academics and pursue their own individual passions.