Back in early 2023, my oldest daughter was completing her last semester of highschool. One of her assignments was to write a short essay on role models in school, of which she got top marks for it. As it ties in with the wellness theme of this site, it has been re-printed below.
The importance of positive role models in school.
There is more to being a good role model to younger students in school than just having good grades and a good attendance. First and foremost a positive role model should be just that, a positive one. Teenagers are bombarded through social media by so many negative influences, that it is so easy for them to be drawn down a negative path.
Teenagers are seeing fellow teenagers doing the craziest acts on social media that could easily get someone seriously injured, or even killed. Recently a teenager set off a firework on a city transit bus in Toronto. Thankfully no one was seriously injured in what was clearly a reckless act. The teen herself was also incredibly lucky that she never seriously injured herself as well. The teen was subsequently charged.
For some reason, many teens feel that the only way they are going to get any kind of recognition for themselves, is to do dangerous acts and post those acts on social media. We live in an era where it’s all about the number of views, likes and subscribers one can get online. It seems everyone is trying to outdo the other in being even more outrageous and dangerous than the last video. It is becoming part of the identity of many of those teens.
Teenagers need positive role models in school, now more than ever. These role models can demonstrate that there is far more to life than the number of views, likes and subscribers one can get online. Teenagers need to hear from their peers that there are consequences for their actions such as potentially injuring someone critically by doing these dangerous acts.
Positive role models in schools can make themselves approachable to younger students. The role models can demonstrate the importance of what real friends are and not the often fictitious friends illustrated online. When teenagers see their role models connecting with real friends, hopefully it will decrease the chances of them connecting to the often fictitious online world.
Until next time, stay safe, healthy and strong.
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