Acceptance is the norm on Foothill’s campus

From+left%2C+members+of+Foothill%27s+freshmen+class%3A+Alejandro+Torres%2C+Paris+Shepherd%2C+Kazu+Koba%2C+Allison+Pagliano%2C+Lucas+Wiltjer+and+Samantha+Main.+Credit%3A+Aysen+Tan%2FThe+Foothill+Dragon+Press.

Jillian Lopez

From left, members of Foothill's freshmen class: Alejandro Torres, Paris Shepherd, Kazu Koba, Allison Pagliano, Lucas Wiltjer and Samantha Main. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press.
From left, members of Foothill’s freshmen class: Alejandro Torres, Paris Shepherd, Kazu Koba, Allison Pagliano, Lucas Wiltjer and Samantha Main. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press.

Everyone has done it. And by it, I mean done or said something idiotic, morally incorrect, or in bad taste to catch the wandering eye of others, and get those 15 minutes of fame.

When doing these things, the question’s that run through teens’ minds are, “What are people going to think of this?”

Teenagers in this generation seem to have a bad reputation, especially among adults and teachers. A lot of people view teens as drug-using, sex-craving, disrespecting hooligans with huge egos and little compassion.

A lot of teens do just these things, not necessarily intentionally, but because they want to be included in the social “norm,” and crave the popularity aspect that is “expected” in high school.

Teenagers aren’t bad people; they just want to be accepted.

They yearn for the constant approval of their peers, but nowadays, it seems harder and harder to achieve. The judgmental ways of today make it hard for anybody to say, “I have been accepted by all of society.”

Here at Foothill, however, students walk the halls with their heads held high in satisfaction of being themselves around anyone and strut in no fear of being judged. You see a kid wearing an elf costume on a regular Wednesday morning, and instead of judgmental glances and stares, people remark, “Only at Foothill…” accompanied by a chuckle.

There is no need for kids to be the hottest or the smartest because at the end of the day, we’re all just Foothillians, trying to figure out who we are, as well as balancing workloads and sports.

Acceptance! Finally, at last. We have achieved this at this small magnet school, on the east side of Ventura, California.

But what about Foothill makes this environment so welcoming?

I feel it is the teachers, who actually come to work excited to teach, and motivated to inspire those around them. These teachers hold no prejudice whether you’re black, white, purple, polka-dotted or just straight-up crazy. They love their jobs. And that’s what makes the difference; that’s what makes students motivated to learn and improve themselves everyday.

I also believe it is the small campus, and the small amount of lucky individuals who get to attend Foothill. The way I see it, we’re like a family. We’re the family that gets picked on for not having sports teams, if you don’t consider Speech and Debate being a sport (some do). We’re the family that gets made fun of for being “nerds,” “smart kids,” and “people with no social lives.” But the fact that we get tormented for these same things, no matter who you are, what grades you get, and what class you’re in gives people something in common with each other, and something to stand for. 

Sure, we have our cliques, and labels, but that comes naturally throughout the teenage years, and is something that cannot be avoided, in any school, in any place.

I think that the student involvement in this school really allows Foothill to become a comfortable and carefree environment. How many other schools have Renaissance Friday’s with free food, good music, and fun events that students can participate in during a one-hour lunch?

How many other schools have Air Guitar, rallies with jolly jumps on campus, and Corrales burritos supplied to students who get good grades? And how many other schools have teachers willing to dress up like birds and sing Miley Cyrus songs in front of the entire student body?

We accept each other because we endure the same problems, and we can relate to each other a lot more than people at Ventura or Buena can, just because of the fact that each person at Foothill has adopted this new way of life, this non-judgmental, accepting way of life that influences one another ceaselessly.

Our school is truly one of a kind, and students often take for granted how blessed they are to have been accepted into a Blue Ribbon, nationally recognized, top-in-Ventura-County-ranked school.

So, keep up the great work Foothill, and as you step onto campus each day, think about how many kids from other schools would love to be in your shoes. 

What do you think?