I'm just like most teenagers in the way that I love to watch TV when I have time on my hands. I love kicking back with a bag of chips or some junk food, flipping through the channels until you find something at least somewhat interesting. It's nice, right? Well that's exactly what I was doing this past Monday when I came across a preview for an upcoming new show "If You Really Knew Me" on the popular television channel MTV, (on Tuesday nights at 11/10 central).
At first I thought to myself, 'Oh great, another show all about how high school has the stereotypical cliques and people get mistreated. I already hear enough about that stuff.'
But boy was I wrong.
I ended up watching the premiere, thinking it was going to be no biggie. Little did I know that within the first half hour, it would leave me in tears. The show follows about six different high schools, starting off with Freedom High School located in Oakley, California for the first episode. In the first minutes, there were a few teens shown talking about what that specific high school was like. One girl said she liked it, another boy said it wasn't a very good school acceptance-wise.
After getting an idea about what Freedom High School was all about, the senior class went in to the school's auditorium (or cafeteria, I couldn't exactly tell) where there were chairs set up, and they were told to sit "wherever they liked." Next, they got into groups. Then came the stories each kid told within each small group, starting the first sentence with, "If you really knew me, you would know that . . ." Then came my water works. It was heartbreaking to see such young innocent students have such terrible problems. One girl talked about how she had even planned on committing suicide that week! I almost could not take it. Another boy talked about how his parents do not accept him as a homosexual, and often tell him horrible things that no child should have to hear.
Turning on the television, thinking I was going to be bored for an hour watching this show, and then having it end with me crying on my couch, hugging a pillow, really got to me. I just didn't understand. "Why do these things happen?" and "Why to such innocent kids with so much more life ahead of them?" were the thoughts racing through my mind as the show came to an end.
Not only did it make me cry, it made me think. Long and hard, actually. About who I've been in the past, who I may have hurt, etc. I didn't like the feeling of knowing that there were times where I could have hurt someone like these kids have been hurt. So that was when I decided, I'm going to make it a goal of mine to never hurt someone that bad again, no matter their gender, race, religion, what they make ME feel like, etc. I'll learn to forgive. Because I would NEVER want someone feeling the way these poor kids did because of me or something I made happen.
And Whyville, take an hour out of your week to watch this show. If it can change my life even the slightest bit, it can do the same for you. And hopefully it will make a difference, because it already has with me.