To be a Girl
by Riley Davis, CHS Sophomore
To be a girl
means to be strong
To be smart, and work hard
To be confident in who we are
To be a girl
means to make our own decisions.
To stand up for what we believe in,
and break the standards that they have set
To be a girl
means to defy expectations,
and to blow them away
To do it when they say you can’t
To stand your ground when they try to move you
To come back up when they push you
To rise to the front when the back is where you’re kicked to
To be a girl means to command attention so they respect you
To speak with confidence just so they listen to you
To try to explain so they can understand you
To be a girl means to work twice as hard
To be the same as them
Poetry can be a guiding hand. Poetry can be long winding road for escape. Poetry can be a warm, quilted shoulder. A poem can be a sweet and gentle kiss. A poem can be an acrimonious snarl. A poem is yours.
Your voice is something that can always be used. Your voice is a piece of you that can’t be broken off or slowly chiseled away. Your voice is weather resistant. It can’t be stolen like a purse, car, or name. Your voice is yours no matter how far you walk, how high you climb or how lost you become. Some voices scream. Some voices whisper. Some voices are muffled. Your voice is yours.
High school is an arena for voices. Projects, presentations, videos and essays are all ways for students to express who they are, what they believe in, what they need, what hurts, or what they are passionate about. School is essential for this reason.
At school, someone must eventually read a turned-in essay or acknowledge a recent project, even when no one else wants to listen. Even when there is no one to listen, a teacher or fellow peer is always there. School provides a critical outlet for all students. The decision to conceal or reveal will always be yours, but choice exists. Opinions, thoughts, and ideas are displayed throughout Chelsea High School in countless ways. Art, pictures, and captions cloak most hallways. Writing is also displayed throughout the building, and daily announcements come reliably during fourth hour. Student council members represent each grade. School offers many opportunities for the voices of students to be recognized within our school building and our society. The voices of Chelsea students have a notable effect on adults and students within the Chelsea School District, and considerably impact the Chelsea community, yet voices go unheard. School is dangerous for this reason.
Ideas and opinions can be easily smothered by what “smart kids” have to say. Passion, belief and self-identity can be a source of shame for students across all ages. Even pain can go unnoticed among a stack of essays or pile of class handouts. This can lead to tragedy. Hectic schedules and busy lives can shape the focus of students primarily on themselves and those closest to them. Constant striving for advancement and betterment in educational, personal, or social aspects of life can create a narrow and limited mindset. People can be a source of support, but people can also be a source of constraint, and more constraints mean only exclusive voices are heard, while others are shut out. Identifying patterns of behavior in our own lives and expanding interaction with unfamiliar students is beneficial not only to those we connect with, but ourselves. Breaking subconsciously-formed barriers can open new windows of opportunity and learning.
Acknowledging someone should be the standard. Complimenting someone should be a norm.
One voice is never as loud as two.