Inflection Points

5 May 2019

During adolescence, we are faced with numerous challenges and situations daily.Although some trivial, they begin to shape who we are, what we stand for, and can provide insight as to what values we represent.One of my beliefs was challenged, and I was forced to choose where I would stand.Earlier in the school year, my classmates became aware of a particular freshman and his tendencies.This student was easily agitated to say the least, and some of my classmates discovered specific words or phrases that seem to instigate this behavior.Constantly antagonizing this student, they would get the desired reaction out of him simply to amuse themselves.The student would storm off and become flustered, only to be pestered again by another group of passing students.Even my closest friends began to participate.

I was faced with a moral dilemma.I knew that this was wrong and I felt horrible for this student who clearly had some issues with his temper and was being provoked for others amusement.

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At first I simply watched, never participating but I was too embarrassed to be the one to stand against so many kids in my grade and “ruin their fun”.This went on for some time.As the situation got progressively worse, I realized that I began feeling more and more guilty for standing idly by.I realized it doesn’t matter what your peers may think when someone is being harmed in some way.I confronted them and explained the cruelty of provoking someone with the behavioral tendencies that this student showed.I will now openly tell strangers to stop if I see this in the hallway, with no hesitation.

What I learned from this situation is that it is completely alright if not everyone agrees with you, or to always comply the majority’s opinion.This particular situation allowed me to see a wider spectrum, and gave me the confidence to stand by my values regardless of the situation.High school students are constantly craving acceptance.The need to fit in often takes precedent over personal values.The need to conform overwhelms us and clouds judgment.Through this experience, I became more comfortable with what I believe in and content with who I am.This situation broke the barriers of fear ad hesitation that existed and now I find it easier to express my opinions when appropriate.High school can be filled with obstacles that force many people to mold themselves in to person that their surroundings will them to be.This experience gave me the confidence I needed to stay true to my beliefs and morals even when it is not popular or accepted by my peers.I learned to value who I am, because conforming to what is “normal” is just as boring and unoriginal as it sounds.

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