How does our sheltered environment affect us?

If we look around at the school’s surroundings, we see miles of horse trails and beautiful Southern California neighborhoods. A newly renovated track, pool and band room are just some of the impressive features of Walnut High School.

When someone is privileged, the term “born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth” generally attaches a negative connotation to that person; the individual may be labeled as overly dependent or too heavily protected. In the context of high school, certain privileges might even mean more competition for the students, which causes stress. Indeed, with “privileges” of being in a safe and nurturing environment, there are also disadvantages. However, instead of focusing on the negative and stressful aspects of having such an academically competitive, “sheltered” campus, students should recognize the valuable opportunities that come with it.

Walnut High School is a sheltered school, and it is important to recognize some of these reasons. According to Los Angeles Times, Walnut has a crime rate 58 percent lower than the country’s average, while acts of violence are 73 percent lower than the country’s average. The numbers don’t lie: students are less worried about everyday safety in Walnut compared to many other areas. This helps students focus more on studies, clubs and sports.

Then there are certain things that we tend to not even think about: the basic needs for living. For example, Water4.org states that only 13 percent of Afghanistan has clean drinking water readily available. This places more of a burden on students in less privileged countries to simply get to school and stay healthy. It might be a stretch to compare Walnut High School to Afghanistan, but it emphasizes the fact that students should certainly think about what they have. The school board ensures the necessary resources for students to make it to school and attend class without much of a thought about what it does to the work being put in. Again, this opportunity of attending a well-renovated and safe school gives students much more time and energy to pursue career-oriented goals.

So why would anyone call this “bubble” of sorts bad in any way? To some, simply put, it is too much of a good thing. When we take safety for granted and have caring teachers who use the best resources, almost every aspect of school becomes competitive. For example, instead of appreciating the fact that there are over 100 diverse clubs on campus for students to pick and choose from, students tend to take a more pessimistic view and complain about leadership positions. Likewise, many are stressed to the brim with four or five AP, IB or honors classes. What many of us fail to realize is that these problems come with many privileges; high schools across the world do not offer the same learning experience that Walnut does.

When we do not recognize the favorable circumstances that we have been dealt, our privileges go to waste. Many of our parents work hard to give us these opportunities, only for us to take them for granted because we are stressing over the amount of work or responsibility we have. Let’s put it this way: attending a top 11 school in the state (according to Daily Beast Publication) will have its pros and cons, but worrying about a calculus test is much better than worrying about when our next meal will be. Rather than being pessimistic about our scholarly stress, we should look at all of these situations as opportunities to grow in terms of potential leadership responsibilities and academic well-being.

By Brian Chen, Staff writer
Editorial cartoon by Jessica Huang, Editor-in-chief