Being Caught in the Crowd

When you think about the grand scale of your fellow students, it can be a bit overwhelming. Heck, most of us moved from intermediate school with about 400 students in each year level and even less than that at primary school. The immense change for some makes Macleans seem like a bustling metropolis! This makes it easy to feel lost in the crowd.

Many of us have attended concerts or performances and been left feeling trapped inside that tight, suffocating horde of people at the very end trying to leave. You feel engulfed and drowned in the herd while everyone is just trying to come out first, feeling free and fantastic. You may cling to a friend or parent, in order to avoid becoming disorientated, but in the bustle of hundreds of people, you lose them. You frantically glance across the crowd and everybody starts to look the same. All you wanted in the first place was release.

A lengthy metaphor, I’ll admit, but as an unassuming Year 10 some of my experiences at college are very similar to that of a concert. Now, many students that attend Macleans have come from very different backgrounds of education. But personally, I did quite well at primary school – especially in English and Speeches. People saw potential in me and because of the small numbers of students at my past schools, it was easy for me to be recognized and rewarded. It felt pretty awesome, I have to admit, to be rewarded for the things I was good at. Life was good at the top.

Then came along college. The numbers of students were much larger, the talent pool was bigger, and there were so many grades and rankings at first that I couldn’t keep track of it all. All of my achievements in primary and intermediate mean almost nothing to me now, and as I stand in the commons watching the hustle bustle of students around me, I find myself pretty lost. Lost in myself and in the crowd.

Introvert or extrovert, the average human being enjoys feeling special whether it’s among friends or on a larger scale. This is the same reason why people can suffer from feeling lost in the crowd in intermediate, college, or even the workplace. If you have a talent that you enjoy to showcase that suddenly stops being acknowledged, you start to question how talented you were in the first place. This can lead to comparing yourself to others, which is never healthy.

In New Zealand, the average life expectancy is eighty-two. Say you live to this age – only thirteen of these years are spent at school, and only five at Macleans College. The way I picked myself up began with looking at the big picture and how the fear of feeling average only had to be temporary. College isn’t forever and when you look at the grand scheme of things, missing out on a role in a school play won’t matter too much when you’re twenty-five and forging your new career path.

Written by: Tara Jackson. Edited by: Annaliese Wheeler.

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