Huffman: The jungle known as high school

Jun. 10, 2013 @ 11:08 AM

I’m back for yet another summer behind the computer. For those who have never heard of me, my name is Ben Huffman and I am a rising sophomore at Riverside High School. I started writing for the paper in eighth grade in my language arts class and was given the chance to expand last summer. I was given another chance to write this summer, and am honored to be back.
Growing up, shows on television made high school seem like the worst four years of your life. They made it seem like you would get bullied, be terrorized by the upperclassmen, get in food fights, and not have fun in class. While they do talk about the values of friendship, they miss the point.
After surviving a year of high school, I am able to understand how real the experience truly is. Some of the aspects of the television shows are true, but they miss the some vital parts. On some shows, the bully terrorizes the whole school. In a normal, everyday high school that is not the case. Sure, there are bullies, but they are not as blood-thirsty as everyone makes them out to be.
It may not sound like it, but high school has provided me with some of the greatest moments ever. It has provided some of the funniest and memorable moments that should not be discussed outside the four walls of the classroom. Television showed me growing up that the tests and work would be overbearing, and at times it has been, but it is not as bad as people think.
The biggest flaw in television is upperclassmen showing how truly dominant they are over underclassmen. I was in a class this year where I was one of two freshmen among 26 students. Even though it took a while before they learned I was a freshman, I was just another one of them, just younger. The students in that class really showed that upperclassmen are people just like me and are not as vicious as they are portrayed on television.
Freshman year was a huge stepping stone for me. I played on a baseball team this season with a few people I had never played with before. Only one of my teammates this year made the trip with me to Riverside, but that was all I needed. We were only two of the several pieces needed to compete in a tough conference. We finished the season as the conference champions at the junior varisty level with a record of 14-1.
If there is one thing you should take away about high school from this column, it’s that the people you meet in your four years of high school are the people you will never forget. They will make first impressions that will blow you away, either in a good way or in a bad way. It will put you on a rollercoaster ride of emotion. You will be tested both in class and in life. You will really have to be careful in the decisions you make, what friends to hang around, and not to put yourself in harm’s way.   
High school is not as scary as you may think it. There are stereotypes of how certain people and groups of people are supposed to act, and many of them are true. But once you truly get to know the people that you will be with for the next couple of years, you realize they aren’t all that bad, no matter what the stereotype may be.
Ben Huffman is a rising sophomore at Riverside High School. For comments and question, please e-mail him at