A place in the dam

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A place in the dam

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In a school of over 1,800 students, it’s hard not to see at least one new face every day. We pass through the halls hundreds of times, following our familiar paths, without ever managing to make a connection with every face around us.

And yet, we manage to create a community of ourselves, of a group of almost complete strangers. We walk the same halls, we struggle through the same classes, and we face many of the same daily issues, regardless of our diverse interests and backgrounds. A sense of community can come from the simplest of similarities, and has the power to tie a mass of people together.

At a sports game, our students cheering in the bleachers may not all know one another, or even the players bearing their colors on the court. But we cheer just the same. It’s our team. For that one game at least, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, at that moment in time, they represent the entire community. It’s only right that we should offer them all the support we can muster in return.

This doesn’t just go for sports, however. There are groups of students at Ballard that are accomplishing amazing things in our name, and who deserve the same level of recognition, but are often easier to tune out.

It’s true that the bonds we form in high school may not last forever, but they are undeniably real. Whether it’s through a sports team, an academy or club or any other small group of like-minded students, finding our “place” can lead us to our “people.” Those who think like us and believe what we believe, who will support us through the hard days and share their best days with us.

These groups can bring students together that would otherwise never have met, and foster the kinds of high school relationships that may last even past graduation.

School pride is a complicated concept. It’s not easily measured, and it doesn’t take the same form for every person. It can take conscious effort or occur somewhat naturally. It’s not something that’s always at the forefront of our minds, but our need to belong is embedded deep in our nature. High school is our first opportunity to find the place that we belong.

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