Teens’ identities dependent on their activities


Once one door closes another one always opens. Graphic by Manu Garikipati and Josh Martin.

By Alexandra Dalton
Staff Writer

Everyone has a different sport, club or hobby – a niche. This leads  one to select friend groups, lunch tables and study buddies.

What makes high school high school and makes the school run so well is students are all able to share the same general experience, but everyone’s perception is different based on the activities they take part in.

Once one door closes another one always opens. Graphic by Manu Garikipati and Josh Martin.
Once one door closes another one always opens. Graphic by Manu Garikipati and Josh Martin.

With the idea that everyone has their niche, those who have quit their activity are put in an odd spot. They ride in between the friends they have just left and the opportunities that stand before them.

This year I quit my “niche”, a sport, basketball, which I have played my entire life. It completely rocked my world because I never thought I would quit, and I had planned on taking it all the way to college. Being a junior, the transition seemed hard because I was half way through high school and everyone else already knew what they wanted.

Like lost puppies, people who quit their activities do not know where they really stand because everything that they have known from their best friends to their routine, has all changed.

Although my transition was painful, it hurt more that all of those friends I connected with over the struggles of early morning practices or studying time management style acted like they did not know me anymore. Sure they would wave in the hallway but it was not the same because I left and they stayed.

The fact that I did not have a place anymore was weird and I was forced to face the fact that I was left back at square one, which can be petrifying. However, clean slates also leave room for improvement and it should always be looked at as if it were a gift rather than a mistake because not everyone gets a chance to start from scratch.

This struggle to accept that you are no longer apart of something that felt so comfortable to you can be troubling, but new waters are always meant to be tested, and nobody should shun their full potential because of a fear of rejection. Having a place to fit in is fundamental in high school. It helps establish the type of person you aspire to be and the people you mesh with. Our identity is deeply rooted within what we do, because what we do is who we are.

Reaching out to find a new place in the world can seem crippling, but the payoff is always worth the struggle and self doubt. Students truly find where they need to develop in high school and reach their top performance when they can truly be themselves.