Steer clear of rampaging rumors

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My grade is a class of 85 students. With a class that small, it gets very tempting to immerse yourself in the drama and personal lives of others. Coming from a large, public middle school, this particular aspect of CESJDS was a shock to me.

My biggest regret of high school was letting the drama of freshman and sophomore year dictate how I saw and felt about myself. I based my self-worth on what I thought others perceived me to be, causing me to retreat in my shell and avoid branching out in my grade.

If I could give one piece of advice, I would suggest not listening to “fake news” in the social environment of JDS that can quickly turn toxic. I believed that people judged me based on what was escaping the rumor mill, and I was stuck on the idea that how you looked and the parties you went to placed you in a “social class” at school, but this couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

While I’ve learned to be strong and resilient during my time at JDS, I manifested unwanted anxiety and stress when I should have been focusing on my work and extracurriculars. Part of my growth was distancing myself from the toxic relationships and activities that caused me stress. By focusing on Shir Madness, The Lion’s Tale and our school musicals, I felt like I could better manage my time because I wasn’t spreading myself too thin socially.

Through focusing my time and energy on what I truly enjoyed, I learned that it is okay to not be a part of a traditional friend group. I have found great friends who are all a part of their own groups, and I am comfortable with that. High school is too short to focus on social hierarchy and comparison, so spend your time doing what you love with whom you love, and suddenly, the “fake news” will seem truly irrelevant.