Warrior Words: Busting the myths of a ‘typical high schooler’

Some people tend to stereotype my generation as a bunch of arrogant, lazy, entitled, impatient, technology addicts. However, I can assure them that if they were to spend a day in the life of a Wilton High School student, their misconception would be immediately disproved. Instead, they would be pleasantly surprised and genuinely inspired by these students — I know that I sure am. So, to all of my fellow high schoolers, this is for you.

I know your mornings start early. Perhaps you wake up after the sixth alarm you set and scramble out the door without breakfast. I know you go to school and despite not having the best night of sleep, you put your best foot forward and rock the day. After school, maybe you head to a club meeting, go to practice, or work a shift at your job. You might even do all three. I know that your nights end late, as you finish up an essay and practice the presentation you will give first period the following day, amongst other things.

When listening to the song Growing Up by Macklemore, these lines resonated with me, because when I hear them, I think of my peers:

“Don't try to change the world, find something that you love and do it every day.

“Do that for the rest of your life and eventually, the world will change.”

I am simply in awe of each and every one you, as you discover your passions and practice them.

These passions come in great number and variety. I witnessed a student’s fascination for the weather blossom into the creation of his very own local weather station. Another student with a passion for fashion works tirelessly to design fabulous and unique pieces that she shares with others. She also happens to be making her own prom dress. Every day I take notice of a new cause that students work hard to promote and partake in.

Through Feb. 21-22, over 70 students, including myself, registered to vote at the annual voter registration drive during lunch. Just this week I watched one of my best friends, an anti-gun violence and school safety advocate, organize the non-partisan walkout at Wilton High School that took place on March 14. This beautifully somber event honored the 17 students and teachers who were slain at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and simultaneously embraced compassion in our community. On March 15, 59 students shaved their heads for St. Baldrick’s to help conquer childhood cancer. Yesterday, I saw a poster that encouraged our students to give blood in this year’s second blood drive on April 3. Every time I ring people up at the Village Market, a bake sale for any number of causes takes place right out front. My peers constantly engage in the things they care about.

While some may look down upon our generation’s “obsession” with technology and social media, I would argue that these platforms enable students to make their voices heard and spread the word about the amazing events I discussed above. It informs the youth and increases our awareness in our ever-changing world. It serves as a catalyst for change.

My fellow students, it is because of your ceaseless spirit and endless contributions that benefit others on a local, national, and global scale, that you make myself, and undoubtedly the entire community proud of our youth. Of course, I know that you will continue to focus on your passions long after you finish school. I hope I helped bust the myths that unfortunately blanket my generation. To the people just as inspired by my peers as I am, thank you. Please continue to encourage their efforts as they give back to the community that nourished them.

Shelby Connor is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.