Down the Hall: Providing insight into the life of a teenager

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 13, 2008

By MATT MOORE / Guest Columnist

These four years of growing pains, adolescence and learning mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

Ask one man, and he may tell that they were the best years of his life.

Ask another, and he’ll tell you it was a four-year jail sentence.

To me, high school has been a lot of things so far. I should know, as I’ve been a pupil of two already.

High school is one of the best natural highs you’ll ever experience. It can also be the most depressing state, ever.

One day, you’re on top, without a care in the world. Then, with the breath of five to 10 sentences, you find yourself at the bottom of a seemingly insurmountable hole, asking questions such as, ” why?” or “what’s the point anymore?,” but then you find a glimmer of hope that puts you on top again.

At the same time, high school can be marvelously enjoyable. You’re hanging out with friends on the weekends, high-fiving and saying “hey” to friends in the hallways, and checking your Facebook almost compulsively.

I’ve noticed that high school-age students, well, we’re incredibly gregarious. I mean, honestly, most of us won’t let a word fly out of our mouths without thinking about everyone else’s reactions. It’s mostly subconscious, but prevalent, nonetheless.

I believe this flock mentality can be a good thing, and a bad thing. This is where “hanging out with the wrong crowd” comes into play. If you hang out with the “wrong crowd,” you will eventually become like them. It’s all about their opinion.

If your friends see crime and drugs as the cool, righteous thing to do, you might just commit crimes, and you might just do some drugs. It’s sad, but true.

That’s why all high schools promote clubs and sports so much. If you’re with all your good friends, and doing something productive with them, success will follow.

Plus, the whole general aspect of a sport or club sends a positive message.

You’ll even make good friends and maybe, maybe even fall in the trap of high school love. That’s an oxymoron if I ever did hear of one.

But is all this complexity, this awkwardness, these trials and tribulations, are they all do to the fact we’re in high school? Or, more realistically, is it because we’re in the gray zone of life?

Not quite a child, but not quite an adult either.

The transition era. Or more simply put, the teenage years.

Matt Moore is a freshman at Oak Mountain High School