When did we all decide to start playing God?
Was it on the playground in preschool, when one kid became “weird” for playing with bugs? Or someone got a kiss from their mom at the bus stop a few years later? Did it begin when someone didn’t wear the right clothes in middle school, wore brand-nameless socks in high school, or developed an obsession with a video game no one else had heard of?
When did we starting judging each other?
I graduate in three days. In 72 hours I will be in a massive ceremony, along with my peers, and we will each walk across a stage to receive a piece of paper that we have nearly killed ourselves to earn in the past four years. It’s going to be incredibly nostalgic, indescribably exciting, and completely, and totally, weird. We won’t be high schoolers anymore; we won’t be quite collegiate. That leaves us simply as we are.
As each of us makes a trip down the catwalk to receive our handshake and diploma, all eyes will be ours. One person at a time, in front of hundreds of friends and classmates, not to mention the hundreds more guests, teachers, and loved ones, will face the intensity of hundreds of pairs of eyes. With that kind of a spotlight, it is impossible for that collective mind not to settle on the legacy of that individual.
“Wait, lol, do you remember when [insert a name; we can just use Beyoncé moving forward] dated so-and-so?”
“Beyoncé and I were such good friends freshman year…too bad she’s so different now.”
“I can’t wait for Beyoncé to go to college. Nobody will take her nonsense there.”
“Beyoncé completely screwed me over on that one project…I hate Beyoncé, see you never after tonight…Why did Beyoncé have to do that one thing, she’s so cool otherwise…”
Then there’s this, too:
“Wait, who is Beyoncé?! Have we met???”
WE ARE ALL BEYONCÉ.
“Beyoncé” is judged, talked about, and torn down. So is Beyoncé Knowles, yet society calls her a queen. Why is that?
Beyoncé is a role model for countless people across the world, just a human, like any of us…but is known for her humility and supportiveness in addition to her gaudiness and sometimes, brashness.
Let’s be less brash. Less judgmental. More humble. More supportive.
Especially of one another.
Every single one of us has done something, whether it has been supremely good, supremely bad, or the vast spectrum in between, during the last four years that will bring up a judgement. In this kind of grand showing of the class of 2015, there simply isn’t a way to avoid examining every single individual, even for just a millisecond, before assigning them a thought and moving on to the next billowing gown floating across the stage.
We (third person–myself included) have judged each other a lot in this high school experience. I concede that this judgement, too, is a part of being in grades 9-12. We’re a bunch of teenagers forced to see each other every day for September through June four years consecutively; of course there is judgment, talk, and gossip.
At this point in our lives, though, it’s time we grew up a little. If all of us aren’t 18 yet, then we will be soon. That makes us adults. Not to say that the world isn’t full of judgey, gossiping “grown-ups”; it’s just that now we don’t have the excuse of being kids anymore. And frankly, it’s time we showed each other a heck ton of support. WE ARE ALL GOING TO DO SOMETHING COOL IN THESE UPCOMING YEARS, LET’S BE EXCITED FOR OURSELVES AND EACH OTHER.
To all of the graduates out there, who are you going to be? You aren’t a high schooler. You aren’t a college student. This summer, even if it’s a week long, for some, or three months long, you are simply YOU. So, what’s it going to be? More of the same high school talk? Is that who you are?
Just try it. Be Beyoncé. We already run the world.