OH, CUT THE DRAMA! High school's hard enough without it

Dec 5 2011 - 12:05pm


Illustration by EDEN PARKINSON/BOnneville High School/clearing-soma@live.com
Illustration by EDEN PARKINSON/BOnneville High School/clearing-soma@live.com

Cassie told Alex, who told Hannah to tell Sarah, that Morgan told Kylie, that Kailey told Angie, that Hailey had actually lied to Aspen, because Hailey told Kendra something that she told Aspen she wouldn't tell anyone.

Sound familiar? This pattern comes up a lot when you're around a group of teenage girls. Does it get old after hearing it oh, about 10 times a day? I would say yes, extremely old. Not only old but tiring, stressful, annoying, unreasonable, stupid, pointless, and I could go on describing it in countless negative ways.

Consider a world where it's like Halloween every day because people try to be something they're not; they lie, tell and keep secrets, talk behind each other's backs, hear or start rumors, lose friends and make friends. Whether you believe it or not, this "world" is real... and we call it high school.

"Drama" is a word that makes me cringe at the thought of it, an agonizing frustration that follows you everywhere you go in high school, like a swarm of bees constantly buzzing in your ears. To some teens, drama is a rush, an exciting way of making a huge deal out of absolutely nothing. They feed off the feeling they get knowing that they're the center of attention; whether it's affecting others or not, they only care about one thing -- themselves.

Teens like to take stories and tell them to other people, until the story turns into a rumor, a complete made-up lie that goes from one person to everyone around them in a matter of minutes, all to make someone else feel low. Have you ever played the game '"Telephone," where everyone sits in a circle and one person starts by whispering a short story to the person next to them? Each person passes it on around the circle until the last person tells the story they were told aloud. Then everyone laughs and thinks it's hilarious because the story wasn't even remotely close to the one they started out with?

Well, if you were to take a high school, shrink it to the size of Legos, and be able to hear everything everyone said clearly, you would think they were playing an innocent game of "Telephone." But then you'd hear the crying, the yelling and the whispers; you'd see the dirty looks, fights and frustration, and you would realize that, although similar, "drama" is not a simple game of "Telephone."

One issue related to drama and friendships that befuddles me is the whole outlook on the popular saying "forgive and forget." In junior high we typically fall in with a certain crowd of people, and make strong friendships with those who have things in common with us. We are with them through thick and thin, from the laughter and the memories to the secrets and the hard times; and you still stay friends, telling these people anything and everything to the point where they practically know just as much about you as you do about yourself.

They're the ones you lean on when you need someone to talk to or confide in to keep your secrets. They are the ones you promise to forever be best friends with "no matter what." And then something happens, something huge that changes all of your plans -- high school. There are numerous ways for friendships to be broken up in high school, and when that happens the drama starts; the secrets spill, the stories change and the ones you always thought you could depend on aren't there anymore.

When you fight with a friend, before going and telling their secrets or changing stories, you should always think of the big "What if?." What if you become friends again? What if your whole fight was a big misunderstanding? What if you need this person and she isn't there anymore? What if she gets hurt by the things you're about to tell people?

Ask yourself these big "What ifs?" and you might find yourself second guessing whether you want to still stay in a fight with this person. Is it worth it after all you've been through together? Or should you just say, "Let's forget about it and go back to how we were?" Everyone makes mistakes and fights occasionally, everyone has different perspectives, so why should drama be the cost of your whole friendship?

In high school people who don't know you tend to judge you based on what they have heard, and trying to explain your side of a story to some- one who doesn't want to listen or understand is like using a pencil that isn't sharpened -- it's pointless. Some teens think drama will help them have friends or get everyone talking about them but I think we should have left that kind of junior-high immaturity far behind us.

As John Bytheway puts it, "It is better to be respected than it is to be popular. Popularity ends on yearbook day, but respect lasts forever."

Danielle Collier is a sophomore at Northridge High School. She enjoys being with friends, volleyball, shopping, writing and traveling. Contact her at daniellecollier13@gmail.com.

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