Being an RA was definitely different than I expected. When I lived in the dorms as a freshman I spent most of my time outside of the residence halls; I worked, I played, I avoided hall checks. Living in LaFallApart was a challenge and being on the 8th floor of a non-air conditioned dorm permanently raised my body temperature a few degrees.
This time around I spent 8 glorious days at Woodworth and experienced the luxurious side of the dorm life. I now had a window air conditioning unit and was the one performing room checks. Flying first class up in the sky...
Being around high schoolers for a week made me realize two things.
1. High schoolers are ruled by their emotions.
2. Being part of The Group is a top priority.
I am still ruled by my emotions to a certain extent, but these kids experienced the highs and lows of each day 100 percent. When they were excited, they were EXCITED. When they were sad, you could feel their melancholy reverberating off the walls. I haven't been around teenagers, with the exception of my sister, for a long time and I forgot how strong the desire to fit in can be.
Case in point -- during our dance on Wednesday night, one of the students requested Sandstorm. Yes, you read that correctly: SANDSTORM. Talk about a throwback! Anyway, three kids started banging on the floor in a very Jersey Shore manner and before you knew it, close to 50 kids were pounding the beat out on the gym floor. They were so in-tune to what everyone else was doing that they all jumped up to fist pump within seconds of each other. Amazing.
All recreational activities were considered lame until a handful of students started to participate. I found in interesting that, generally speaking, the outsiders of the camp were the first to join in group activities and get the ball rolling. They danced, they
After watching the hierarchy of high school play out for an entire week, I was amazed at the things I'd witnessed. The popular kids from different schools and different states found each other and formed a clique; the nerds, the jocks, and the outcasts all followed suit. Yes, they interacted to a certain extent, but as a whole everyone knew their place and mingled within their peer group. And I thought classism no longer existed!
As an adult, it was particularly heartbreaking to watch certain students try to mingle outside of their clique and be rejected. They often felt ostracized and, because they are highly emotional, their sadness was plastered across their face.
One of my favorite campers watched the dance from a distance because his peer group was not participating; he wanted to dance but was worried his moves would be made into a joke. I didn't have the heart to tell him that everyone on the dance floor made an idiot of themselves (see fist pumping). He later confided in me that he was also upset because the girl he liked at camp decided to date (for a whole week) someone else, someone 'cooler' than he was. He had spent the entire week trying to show his adoration for this vixen. For one reason or another, he was not chosen.
I am so glad high school is over.
Me as a high school senior