7 sins of high school

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Second of two parts

Gossip in high school can be a bigger problem than wearing a brown belt with black shoes. It spreads through the crowded halls quicker than most upperclassmen can walk past sophomores. Gossip has turned into one of the biggest downfalls of your average high school student.

Hillary Jordan, a senior at Jackson High School, said a majority of high-school students' conversations deal with "what they did over the weekend, or who did what."

Just why do students gossip?

"People look for reasons to talk about other people just to have something to talk about. It's kind of stupid," Jordan said.

Many high-school students' lunches come from fast-food restaurants or convenience stores, and usually consist of a couple of snacks and a soda. After school, it's not a surprise to see many of the same students going through McDonald's drive-thru to grab a bite to eat before heading off to work.

"I think people overeat because they don't eat until they are full, but until they absolutely can't eat any more," said Lisa Farrar, a freshman at Scott City High School.

Vending machines are also inside schools nationwide.

"If people see food they want, they will eat it even if they're not hungry," Farrar said.

We've all seen the teens who carry skateboards but can't skate; the guys who walk around with footballs but can't throw; or the drama queens who try out for plays but can't act.

"I believe there are many students who attempt to be people that they're not by wearing 'trendy' clothes or buying an outfit that only a certain clique would wear," said Kelley Kasten, a senior at Jackson High School.

According to the Encyclopedia of Children's Health, adolescence has a lot to do with social conformity and acceptance.

So just how can someone avoid this?

Kasten suggests students simply accept each other without looking at their appearance.

It's not uncommon to walk through the halls and see couples who need to share the goodbye peck or hug. Sometimes it seems couples must be physically attached at the hand, hip or lips to survive.

"I don't really think it is necessary. Holding hands isn't bad, but there is plenty of time outside of school to show each other affection," said Sarah Sutterer, a senior at Jackson High School.

Jackson High School administrators make reference to PDA in the handbook under the student conduct section. On the first offense a conference will be held between the principal and the students, and parents will be notified. On any subsequent offense, the same steps will be followed as well as assigning after-school detention, in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension.

PDA tends to lead the other high-school "sins," as well such as gossip and procrastination, but in the end students say, it's a "disease" without a treatment.

"I don't think administrators can do anything to prevent it," Sutterer said.

Nicholle Hinkle is a senior at Jackson Senior High School and plans to major in mass communications/journalism at Southeast Missouri State University.

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