Exposure Therapy: Samara

Samara Koshiol, Guest Writer

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As a standing member of the EPHS community, I should have the ability to feel included and welcomed in all aspects of my experiences, but as I get farther and farther into my time here at Eden Prairie Schools I still am having trouble finding their true message to me as a student. I guess I’m not like other kids, apparently, no one questions things as much as I do. The new policies, surrounding hall passes and open hours are just disguised for more administrative control. 

The school preaches that we should be creative and speak for what’s right. But when it comes down to it, they try to silence those who try to speak out. They cover our hallways with decorations of the kids here with big smiles on their faces, but those posters don’t show that each one of those kids has probably had a mental break down in the hallway.  What are we teaching our kids? That our life is determined by our grades and tests? That we have to set aside our health to achieve a standard that shouldn’t even be there in the first place? We need to take a stand and fight for the youth of today. For them to know that it’s okay that they aren’t perfect, and that it’s okay to make mistakes.

 Our school has an amazing record for academics. But at what cost? At what point do we tell our students that we believe them. That we believe the pain and damage we’re causing the youth of today. That we believe them when they tell us that they can’t go a day without having a panic attack. It breaks my heart to see how much people put their self worth in their grades. My little brother, he has a hard time reading. Sometimes I come home to him crying because he is sitting there crying because he thinks he’s dumb and worthless. That he has no value in life because he can’t keep up in school and needs extra help. He is one of the most amazing people that I know. He’s so funny, kind, and is always there for his friends and family. That’s what should define him as a person, not his grades or his test scores.

I have never had a teacher truly ask me if I was okay, a teacher who genuinely cared about how I was doing as a person. Not my grades or my test scores, but for me as a person, me as a human being. I am a person. A person that has feelings and ideas. But I’m not allowed to am I? It doesn’t meet the requirements to be just another student at this school. I will always be just another student, won’t I?