High School Students Scare Me!

by sharanpaul1

Fear is an emotion that transcends age groups.  I was given permission to speak to a group of high school students this week about my ideas on using social media to organize and streamline study.  Their perspective on using social media in high school is critical, in order to understand if my theories can be adapted to their education, and if it would be as successful as it has been in college.  Imagine a group of high school students who are organized and enthusiastic about their studies!  A gathering of young people who discard apathy for excitement over good grades and knowledge.  But I am not going to lie, high school students scare me, for so many reasons.

High school students are smarter than me.  They can absorb and recall large amounts of information at the drop of a hat.  The post-secondary students that I know are adept at using technology for a multitude of tasks, and actually know how the computer performs each action.  And despite all the drama that encompasses interpersonal relationships in high school, these kids learn complex concepts in the snap of a finger.  They are young, energetic, and anxious to take on the world.  So what can I possibly bring to them?  I can (and will) share the benefits of my life experiences.  The very same experiences that led me to discover ways that social media can make education less stressful.  Hopefully, they will understand that, age aside, we can help each other.

The younger the student, the more brutal the honesty.  This group is not going to say nice things about my ideas because I am a great person, or they like me.  They do not attend my classes or hang out with me.  When I ask for their feedback, their responses will be honest–whether I want to hear it or not.  I hope I can take what they say to heart.  Their opinions will help me analyze my theories and see where they need improvement.

Appearances are everything.  High school has always been a visual entity.  How you look is often more important than how you act.  I have decided to forgo my usual business suit and French twist, for skinny jeans and a ponytail.  I do not want them to see yet another old person standing in the front of the room, lecturing them on what they should be doing.  I hope that by dressing down, they will see a college student, not so different from themselves, with information they can use to their benefit.

Facing a group of high school students can be daunting, but it is like a glimpse of our future.  Soon this group of young people will be in charge.  Of everything!  I believe they are more than capable to take over the world, and will most probably do a better job of managing it than my generation did.  When I look at them, I am convinced, that if they can grow and learn more efficiently in high school, they will excel in college.

But first, I have to give my presentation, answer questions, and get out alive…..