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SLAYMAKER: Rockhurst fosters widespread student involvement

011_SLAYMAKER_COLINHigh school is an important time for an adolescent to develop into an adult. Though the four years seem somewhat unimportant as they are lived out, high school actually plays a large role in determining what a student does with his life, where he lives, and the type of person he becomes. Being a time so key for the development of a student, high schools should, in thought, allow students to become who they want to be, explore their interests, and do whatever they want to further their academic, athletic, and personal development. It is my opinion that Rockhurst does a phenomenal job of making this a place ripe with chances for students to develop.

Rockhurst gives students ample opportunities to become involved in organizations such as clubs, academic teams and athletic teams. In my three years here at Rockhurst, I have become involved in programs ranging from the Global Affairs Club to the lacrosse team to the Math Team. At nearly anytime during my involvement in these programs, I have realized that in whatever program I participate, I will receive some support from the student body.

So what? Isn’t this the same at basically every school? Doesn’t every high school student want everyone involved with their school to do well? Yes, and while the answer to all of these questions for Rockhurst students is also yes, this basic support is not what I am talking about and does not fully define the brotherhood we try so hard to develop at Rockhurst.

Rockhurst allows its students to develop in any given area of their lives and to be so fully involved because no matter what program a student is a part of, he will, for the most part, not be made fun of, he will not likely be told that he is a nerd. Though there is certainly bullying at Rockhurst, it seems to me that students are hardly bullied for organizations which they join at the school.

Granted, there are exceptions, especially in the academic spectrum, as students are often labeled tryhards. Also, there is the occasional instance in which a student will be laughed at because of his extracurriculars. But in all my experience, I have just found that there is considerably less of this kind of bullying than I would expect at a high school or even at a grade school.

To better explain my point, consider this. At many other high schools, when the science or math or chess team succeeds, the students probably are happy for the members of those teams. But from my interactions with girls from other schools, I can infer that they do not think highly of members of that team socially, and for that reason, not many people are involved in such organizations.

For example, in my time as a member of the math team, I have realized multiple things. First, the math team at Rockhurst is huge when compared to the schools it competes against, and two, when my friends and I tell people from other schools of our involvement, they usually laugh.Additionally, many students from other schools join their school’s math or science team for nothing but a resume-builder and make fun of themselves for their involvement. Why do they treat it as a joke? It could simply be because they have no affinity for the math team. It could be because they simply find being involved on the math team a joking matter. But likely, they treat it as a joke because they do not want to be made fun of for their involvement, and if they are, they will respond by making a joke about how lame their involvement is and how they only are involved to bolster their resume.

This attitude extends greatly beyond the math team into other extracurriculars and sports. But at Rockhurst, I find this attitude is much more limited than at other high schools. Most students seem not to care that they may be made fun of for their involvement in some extracurriculars, and instead, do their best to enjoy themselves when they are participating. Though my point of view might be limited because I am involved in these organizations, or because some of the people I hang out with from Rockhurst are kind individuals, I do believe that there is a larger trend at Rockhurst, and that students can be involved in many spheres without facing criticisms from their peers.

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