An Interview With A Middle-Schooler
31 Days in My [Insert Label Here] Skin:
An Interview With A Middle-Schooler
Middle School can be brutal. It is such a time of transition, of discovering onesself, of learning and establishing boundaries, and, hopefully, growing in empathy for one’s fellow human beings.
In this discussion on labels, I was curious what a Middle Schooler might have to say in relation to this issue. Thus, this past week, I interviewed a couple of them to find out how they might label themselves and what their thoughts were on all this. Here is how one of them responded:
- How would you describe yourself? What “labels” do you think accurately describe you?
I would call myself a Risk-Taker, Honest, Courageous, Good Citizen, Easygoing, Athletic, Good Student, Animal Lover, Responsible, “Easily Emotionally Moved”, and Clean.
- What are some labels other people have put on you at one time or another and how do you feel about those “descriptions”?
Leader = I like this one. I really do try to help lead other people to success and listen to other people’s opinions.
Funny = I’m not sure if this is accurate or not. I wish.
“One of the nicest human beings on earth” = I don’t think this is true (they were probably exaggerating). But it would be great if this was true!
“Bossy” = This is partly accurate, but it bothers me when people tell me I’m acting like their “mom” when all I’m trying to do is state my opinion and share it with them.
Hard worker = I take whatever I do seriously and I think this is a good quality. It bothers me, though, when people at my school call me a “Try Hard” as though it’s an insult.
- What has been one “defining moment” in your life?
When I zip lined this past summer with my cousin— I was really afraid, and prayed to God that I wouldn’t fall off, but I did it anyway! I was proud of myself because I persevered in faith with God even though I was scared. This lets me know I am a “Risk Taker”— and I’m proud of that!
- What are some general thoughts you have about labels? How are they helpful and/or hurtful?
They can have both positive and negative effects. I feel like they are used too lightly, because they are also used as stereotypes (which is usually taken negatively). It bothers me when people call people something and then they just always think that person is THAT. Even if it’s meant to be positive, it can be taken in a completely different direction. This can sometimes be harsh because it’s like they are letting the past define that person— which sucks because people change and it’s not helpful to bring up the past like that (especially if the person really regrets what they used to do).
- Any last thoughts?
People need to be careful about what they say about a person. Because sometimes they put a label on a person and then that person feels trapped by that label. Because no matter how much they try to break free from that label and try to show everyone that it isn’t true, people still might see them that way. AND the person who has been labeled will always struggle with feeling like maybe that label is true. People always believe those negative things people say and it’s sad. People are so light with their words— they don’t think about how it might effect the other person they are talking to/about. It’s just… not right.
I hope listening in on this wise middle schooler’s viewpoint blesses and inspires you this weekend. Praying God will speak truth and love all over you today. 🙂
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What about you?
What are your responses to the questions above?
Please share your journey in the comment section below.