Curveball: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

My life changed that warm summer day when I marched into Salon Nader with an air of determination about me and firmly declared, “chop it off.” With a couple of snips and a lot of hair product, I transformed my entire look by means of a fresh pixie cut. I like to think this represented a better me – a confident and sophisticated senior. A new Sasha for a new school year.

Yet my metamorphosis didn’t start this summer. It started the day I entered WJ doors for the first time freshman year. Haircuts aside, the entrance to high school marks the beginning of our mental and emotional transformation into young adults.

From the first time we walk the halls of WJ, we are entrusted with more freedom than in middle school, open lunch being the most obvious example. Though freshmen still have yet to learn not to throw food during lunch, we are expected to behave like mature teenagers. With this responsibility comes more decisions, be it buying food at G-Square, choosing classes or making friends. Through these decisions, we begin to shape our personalities and interests.

Identity is a common theme in books and movies about high school. Think Catcher in the Rye, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Who hasn’t revealed their secrets to a group of misfits that forms a bond against all odds? There’s a reason this theme pops up everywhere; high school is a safe place to discover our identities. It allows us to act like adults in a contained environment. We have jobs, we drive cars and we spend our own money, but we live with our parents and, for the most part, abide by their rules. While this can be frustrating at times, it lets us experiment and grow in a safe setting.

What does this mean? For underclassmen, you are beginning to question your roles and figure out who you are and what that means. Middle school teaches us about the dynamics of social interaction and conformity, while high school encourages us to diverge from the pack. Leave your comfort zone and try out new experiences; I wish I had done that more.

For seniors on the brink of a new world of experiences, this is the year when we take who we are and what we like to do and think about applying it to the world outside of our high school lives. Before rushing into decisions about college, a career or whatever it is you want to do, take time to reflect on what the past three years have meant to you. What did you enjoy the most? What were you best at? If you can confidently answer these questions, go ahead with your decisions. If not, you might need to spend some time reflecting.

Welcome the changes you experience in high school. In fact, seek them out. Personally, I know I want to leave high school without any regrets.

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