The Expectation of Graduation Surviving Staples Should Not Be Taken For Granted
Graduating high school is supposed to mean something. People are supposed to be in awe of it. It is supposed to be an accomplishment.
But at Staples High School, graduation is just another expectation of our community.
Staples High School has a different mentality than any other school. That isn’t a bad thing.
We strive to be better. We don’t just take one AP class; Staples students take six.
We strive to learn; kids hunch over their desk, researching for projects about the African oil crisis.
We strive to create a brighter future; students here push boundaries and use innovative thinking to make new apps and create businesses.
So, sure, the Staples High School mentality has its benefits. But sometimes that mentality diminishes great accomplishments.
That’s a bad thing.
Just think about the four years of tedious work in high school, three years of miserable anticipation in middle school, and five years of confusion in elementary school. That all adds up to a grand total of 12 years of torture to make it to graduation.
Throughout all of those years there is a lot to deal with. At the top of the list are the following:
* Passing impossible quizzes you aren’t prepared for.
* Completing tests that take 10 times longer than the period is.
* Finishing mounds of homework due the next day because some teachers don’t realize that we have more than one class.
* Showing leadership and hard work on your sports team (which you have to be on).
In fact, high school is a journey that not everyone can complete.
But for some reason the Westport community doesn’t recognize that. And that is ridiculous. You want proof? Fine.
Imagine trying to answer the typical “Where are you going to college?” question with, “I’m not graduating.” What do you think will happen? Questioners will turn their snobbish noses up at you with disgust.
If they recognized the adversity high school presents, they wouldn’t dare be so disrespectful.
But that is how our town is.
As Craig Wheat ‘13 stated, “Westport is a really successful community. So, it’s all about success.” And that is too true.
I am a hockey player. And even in a sport like hockey that attitude persists.
If we beat a team that is a formidable opponent, we cheer and celebrate in the lockerroom. But, if we beat a team we were supposed to beat, nobody really cares because it was expected of us.
Graduating shouldn’t be like beating a team you were meant to beat because high school is a formidable opponent.
Many adults in Westport have some sort of high-paying job. And they expect us to follow suit, meaning we are expected to graduate.
Even seniors like Riley Macdonald’ 12 said, “I feel like in a community like Westport people aren’t accepted if they don’t graduate.”
In our community you aren’t looked up to for graduating high school. You are looked down on for not graduating high school.
That is not okay.
Westport’s many success stories shouldn’t take away from the success of graduating.
Graduation should celebrate the hard work students put into high school. It is the culmination of the dedication seniors have shown over the years. It is a day they should feel accomplished.
I don’t want to rant about how Westport is wrong for not appreciating high school. That isn’t going to do any good.
I am writing this purely for the Staples seniors.
They deserve to be able to walk to the podium and feel proud. They deserve to not have their success diluted. They deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. They deserve much more than what we give.
What I want is for the Staples seniors to know something when they are throwing their caps in the air. That they accomplished something amazing. That they made it to graduation.
And that it meant something.