High school years can be tough. Fitting in, feeling accepted and finding your niche can be a challenge.
“I always feel judged at school,” sophomore Marie Duran said. “I feel like I don’t dress good enough or look good enough. I feel like I’m always trying to fit in, trying to make myself skinny and pretty.”
“I feel safe physically, but emotionally, this place can rip people down,” senior Christina Lacek said. “All the time I feel judged; I get called names.
“I wear my heart on my sleeve and sometimes people find it wrong,” Lacek said. “I’m fine being myself, but a lot of people here find themselves not safe.”
“I feel judged,” freshman Jaiden German said. “But I also feel like maybe that’s just high school. I feel like everyone gets judged and/or judges others at some point.”
Fortunately, German is not alone.
“I never feel judged,” junior Jacob Kinnear said. “I honestly don’t care what people say. I never feel like I need to be someone else. If someone doesn’t like you, don’t associate with them.”
It might not be so important as to whether you’re judged or not, but more of how strong your sense of identity is.
“I am comfortable with my own identity,” Lacek said. “I love myself, but I know not everyone loves themselves as much as they should.”
“Sometimes it’s hard to like my identity,” Duran said. “A lot of toxic people make it hard to love myself, but I try pushing through it.”
That’s when a safe place becomes essential.
“My safe place is Club Energize,” sophomore Kylie Yates said. “It helps me forget about the outside world.”
“The softball field is my safe place,” sophomore Alison Carter said. “I have been playing for nine years and I know the sport better than anything else.”