Stereotypes in our School

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Stereotypes in our School

Tessa Smith, Reporter

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The typical American high school; every student is defined by one thing or another. Stereotypes are just a normal part of high school as we try to find ourselves, and others put you in certain categories or oversimplified images of a basic idea.

Many students believe that our school has the normal stereotypes, and labels are part of it. You can be labeled as many things, but unless it is coming from you, they do not define who you are. Just because they are present in our everyday lives, doesn’t mean you have to fit the mold for the basic stereotypes.

Students all have their own version of stereotypes, but there are stereotypes that are stick out more than others. A group of four students — who aren’t acquainted with each other — have defined just a few stereotypes, how the students described their ideas of stereotypes seemed to match perfectly. Sophomore Scott Hulse picked a small number of stereotypes out from our school, and if you stop and look around, they are true.

“I think there are the normal stereotypes like rednecks, stoners, the drama kids, cinematography nerds, geeks, the basic girls and guys,” said Hulse.

Many said that there is just basic, or typical high school stuff, but what really is typical? On screen in movies you see nerds, jocks, preps, misfits, trouble-makers, class clowns, the young democrats, emos, and on and on. But why are these normal? What makes these words define the students in any school?  

The human mind first notices certain characteristics about a person, and then uses those characteristics as a profile to make assumptions about them. You see a boy with long hair and in dark clothes, and you think he is a stoner or maybe an emo. You walk by a girl wearing something bright colored and funky, you assume she’s a drama kid or seeking attention. Since when have we let what people wear judge their character?

Aside from the fact that first impressions profile a person, some wish we didn’t have stereotypes at all, and some think they are needed to make people who they are in social society. Students were asked if they could change or remove stereotypes all together and there were mixed results, but the answer that stood out the most was from senior Kenzi Schrader.

“I think stereotypes are okay unless they get to judgemental. Just let people be and not judge them for it. You don’t know what’s going on in their lives,” Schrader said.

While freshman Seth Sternhill Tift said, “I think if there weren’t stereotypes it would take the pressure off everyone. I wouldn’t know how to change them though.”

The open view from these students show that even though they are present, they don’t let them destroy their individual attributes that make them who they are. The idea of stereotyping has been around for centuries and we just can’t shake the action of distinguishing people by the way they look or act. Judging people is a natural and human habit, we just can’t help it. The way our brain works is similar to a filing system; we label things and place them in a folder with others just like it or even similar to it.

Stereotyping is a widespread global second nature. It has been the past and still is in the present, and it is just part of being human. But take it down onto a smaller scale and look at a certain age, you’ll find that we are who we are because of them. You don’t have to fit the image of an idealized stereotype mentally or physically, because each piece of our own personality changes the stereotype just slightly to make it your own. Stereotypes in our school do not make you who you are. You make the stereotype and control it from there.