The High School Games: An Everyday Katniss Everdeen

As the exuberant sun rises ever higher in the morning sky, so do the levels of anxiety and uneasiness among the entire population of District 12. Although this small province of Panem is poverty-stricken and privy to the pains of famine, every citizen manages to dress in his or her best attire for this momentous occasion: welcome to the twisted highlight of death, drama, and danger that has graced every year since the revolution. Welcome to the horrifying battle royale that Katniss Everdeen has selflessly volunteered herself for. Welcome to the 57th annual Hunger Games.

While I do not live in a destitute district that answers to an oppressive Capitol, I am able to draw many parallels to the life and times of Katniss Everdeen. From the very first page of the “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, I knew with every fiber of my being that Katniss was a character with whom I could easily relate: the two of us can both be described as strong, emotionally reserved, and independent young women whose will to survive is a force to be reckoned with. For Katniss, the uphill battle that facilitated this remarkable drive comes in the form of a brutal “fight to the death” that she could not afford to lose. Although I will luckily never have to partake in such an appalling event, I have a realm of danger all my own that most participants never leave from unscathed or without serious injury: high school.While Katniss’ competitors wield swords, daggers, and other weapons of mass destruction in an effort to break her down physically, the students who roam the hazardous halls of my high school have a slightly different objective: to destroy the very core of one’s emotional and mental strength. How could they accomplish such a daunting task, you ask? With arsenals stocked full of insults, stereotypes, prejudiced claims, and senseless gossip. If manipulated with enough dexterity and precision, words have the potential to do the same damage as, if not more than, the sharpest of daggers.

However, like Katniss, I have learned that weapons can only inflict damage if you allow them to; in the face of enemies, adversity, and troubling times, both of us have learned to travel the path of least resistance, emotionally disconnect from our surroundings, and never give the opposition the chance to attack our vulnerability. By finding strength in physical or emotional pain, my fictional counterpart and I will always emerge from the battlegrounds as victors.

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