Leaving a legacy behind when leaving high school is not a foreign concept to some people. People wonder what their classmates will remember them for, and it affects the way that they perceive themselves.
Students join clubs and activities for college, but they also join to give themselves a sense of pride that they’ve done something important for their community.
“I realized this year that I do not only want to leave Carlmont as a more positive place, but a supportive, accepting place as well, so I translated that into doing service for the student body,” said senior Elise Dimick.
The craving that some students have to “make their mark” on high school isn’t necessarily the right goal to have.
People as a whole are not completely altruistic or selfish. They are in a grey area of doing things to help others, but also doing things for recognition from their peers.
In a study done by John Darley and Bibb Latané in 1968, the psychologists staged a situation where an emergency occurred and the participant was either alone or in a group of participants. The study measured how long it took the participant to respond to the emergency situation. They determined that 70 percent of the participants who were alone would call out or try to help, but only 40 percent would call out or attempt to help when they were not alone.
They determined that a bystander would decide whether to help based on whether or not they believe the person in the emergency is deserving of help, the competence of the person, and the relationship between the two.
Junior Alex Irby, director of the spring play, said, “Originally, I wanted to [direct the play] for myself, but then I realized that it was for all the freshman too. I’m more focused on leaving an impact on the people I’m working with than the entire school.”
Even though the original leaders of many clubs are not remembered for starting the club, their impact still endures.
“I don’t think I came in as a freshman thinking about how to make an impact on the school, but in developing the philosophy club I did think about creating a space at school for a type of thinking that isn’t always focused on in classes,” said Carlmont graduate and current Princeton student Laura Ong.
Finding recognition from others is a concept with which many people are familiar. From small children who want parents to laugh at their actions to students trying to get the right grade, people crave approval.
Dimick said, “Being ASB president has allowed me to realize that I am very capable of holding a high leadership role. Through this position I have gained confidence and courage that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
As seniors get closer to graduation, more and more are realizing that leaving their legacy is something that not all of them will accomplish.
Leaving a legacy can be important because it can make a significant difference in someone else’s life, but getting recognition for making that difference isn’t nearly as commonplace.
“The biggest impact we’re making on the school is getting more people interesting in the drama program. Otherwise I don’t think we’re making a significant difference,” said Irby.
The mission for graduating high school is to have all students ready to attend college or go into the workforce. It’s the place where children grow into adults and learn to understand themselves better.
Part of learning to be an adult is becoming involved in activities that one enjoys, not necessarily to make an impact on others.