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Being kind is the new cool

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Sophomore Rylee LeVasseur says it pays to be kind.

Sophomore Rylee LeVasseur says it pays to be kind.

L. Fruge

L. Fruge

Sophomore Rylee LeVasseur says it pays to be kind.

Rylee LeVasseur, Writer

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In every movie about high school that has ever been made, the characters are exaggerated and the plot line is unrealistic. But one thing always remains true to standard: the Bully. It could be a mean, popular girl or a jock who pushes around the nerdy kid. In every school, there are people who make others feel belittled. Now I don’t mean that in every school there is a replica of Regina George, but there is always a person who puts others down to make themselves feel superior. But why is that? High school – and life in general – is hard enough. Why make it harder by hurting others?

Passing judgement, stereotyping, and bullying are a common aspect of a learning environment, but that doesn’t make it okay. During the common school day, students must face the challenges of “fitting in,” on top of the struggles of classwork, due dates, and presentations. It would be so much easier for us to balance day-to-day life without having to focus on blending in.

I have struggled with anxiety since the beginning of middle school, due to the pressures of wanting to fit in and wanting to be the “popular girl.” I wanted more than anything for people to like me. I was willing to change who I was friends with, the way I dressed, the way I talked, and the way I acted just for the reassurance that came with being “cool.” Thankfully, I grew out of that and began focusing on being happy instead. To this day, anxiety is still a problem I must deal with because, to be completely honest, kids are mean. But I am learning to care less with each day what people think of me, and it’s resulting in a much happier way of life.

Because I cared so much about what people thought of me, I constantly wondered what I was doing wrong instead of questioning why others cared so much. What is the point of being judgmental when it only hurts those around you? Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can change the way you feel about them before you have a chance to degrade them.

My experience has shown me the importance of being compassionate. I learned that the smallest act of kindness can impact someone in the biggest ways, because of the kindness people have shown me. Now I strive to be someone people can talk to, because I never know what others may be going through. But like everyone else, I have to remind myself occasionally to not be judgmental. It isn’t something that happens over night; it is something you must train yourself not to do.

It is impossible for one person to change the standard of judgement. But if you change the way you think, it will influence those around you and encourage them to do the same. Stop focusing on what others are doing and instead aim your attention to the good you can do. Being a kind, less judgmental person will make life easier for yourself and your peers.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Being kind is the new cool”

  1. Erika Cook on October 19th, 2017 8:56 pm

    Awesome story Rylee! super impressive! Love it!

    [Reply]

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Being kind is the new cool