Students should look beyond normal connections, expand friendships

Maddie Jewett, Features Editor

You walk down the hallway and see ten separate groups of people talking in little huddles.
You sit down at lunch and realize you’ve sat with these same people all year.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Maybe it’s the fact that we’re unwilling to talk to other people.
Maybe it’s the fact that we feel all high and mighty and are “too cool” to be associated with the other students in our school.
Or maybe it’s just because this constant grouping of people has been going on for as long as we can remember.
And this isn’t how I want to spend the rest of my time in high school.
Don’t be too quick to judge, because we never know what people are going through.
Not all skinny people have an eating disorder.
Not all jocks are conceited.
Not all quiet people are shy.
We just need to get to know people and learn to accept others for their differences.
In the end, that’s what everyone wants — acceptance.
Each of us knows what it’s like to be the outsider. Whether you’re the one without a partner at practice or the kid who never has a group for school projects, all of us have been there.
After knowing what that feels like, why is it that we still insist on being exclusive?
Think about your best friend and how important they are to you.
Besides the fact that we can be mean to our friends, we are typically even more harsh about people we don’t even know.
We make assumptions based on how people look, who they hang out with and what they enjoy doing.
And really, all these things shouldn’t matter anyway.
Think about it: as soon as we graduate, we will most likely never see the majority of these people again.
Granted, everyone has those few close friends that they’ll stay in touch with their whole lives, but for the most part, we won’t see our classmates ever again.
If this is the case, shouldn’t we enjoy the time we have left together?
Instead of judging one another and putting each other down, let’s all try being nice for a day.
Let’s try putting ourselves in other people’s shoes, and realizing that everything we do could affect the people around us.
I think we’d be surprised how much of a difference it could make –– not only for our classmates, but for ourselves as well.
At your ten-year reunion, do you want to be the person no one wants to see?
The person that everyone avoids?
I know I don’t.
We all need to get off our high horses and go talk to someone today that we have never talked to before.
Who knows, they might end up being one of your closest friends.