The Unboxing of Hopkins Students
Individuals find comfort in routine.
Sitting in the same seat in the classroom. Knowing where friends will be during lunch. Working with familiar faces on a group project or presentation. It is human nature to stay within a routine.
Each person has individual talents to share with others. In our intense world of interconnection through social media, we may think we know everything about everyone in our grade. But do we only really know one small piece of each individual’s complex personality?
Hopkins students sell themselves short by showcasing only one or two parts of their lives. One person may have a focus in writing by participating in contests and writing for publications, such as The Razor, but are they only allowed to associate with the writers on campus? It seems unfair to be only known for one thing. Being well-rounded individuals is something to strive for, but it is not feasible to get there when they get placed in a box.
When students look around Hopkins campus in, the “boxes” become clear. Groups of students with similar interests, form and routines become clear. The minds of individuals are wired to desire attention from like-minded individuals, and while that is good, we should want to break that cycle. Hollywood mocks high school ‘cliques’ in movies such as Mean Girls or Heathers. While not to that extreme, the groupings of individuals based on passions does exist at many high schools, including Hopkins. The only “box” we inhabit should be inscribed with our own names. Hopkins is based on a triangle foundation with equal balancing in academics, arts, and athletics, so why should individuals be categorized by their “one” passion or talent?
The answer is simple in theory, but complex in execution. People can expand their passions, but this can be difficult to accomplish, for fear of being judged by peers. Past enlightening experiences, such as the presentation from the Anti Defamation League, have made it clear that the Hopkins Community still has room to improve in terms of kindness and understanding one another, so, why wait? It is time for true exploration of people and peers around us.
Identities are not set in stone. They evolve as individuals evolve into their true, most authentic versions of themselves. Throughout their time on The Hill, Hopkins students grow and become complex individuals, so why should each person only be known for one thing? The goal of every student is to learn something new every day. No one said that the learning had to come from a classroom.
Learn something new about other people. While they may be a part of Concert Choir or Varsity Basketball, they may have great insight into the newest scientifc discovery. Or they may be known as Math Team members who teach with Pathfinder, but we would not know of their fourteen year dance careers outside of Hopkins. We wouldn’t know about these people from an Instagram post or an announcement in Assembly. We need to have face-to-face conversations, allowing for a more personal connection with others.
While these conversations can be diffcult, it is important not to lose touch with the little things. All aspects of our lives should be represented in the Hopkins Community, but, currently, this is not our truth. Are we following Hopkins motto of being “hopeful youths” when we ignore parts of individual identities?
We should strive to be the best versions of ourselves, and be malleable in how we identify ourselves. Be kind to each other and have intelligent conversations with one another; engage in self-exploration while learning about the identities of others. Represent every person honestly and be open to new experiences.
Editor's Note: The Edge was guest-written this issue.