A nervous and quiet tone was present throughout the auxiliary gym as juniors shuffled into the gym the morning of their Challenge Day. After energetic introductions, the day kicked off with dancing and playing silly games to get comfortable and relaxed. By lunch time, the juniors were openly talking about their problems, shedding some tears, and giving support to their classmates.
Challenge Day is a day set up annually for the junior class to share who they really are for one day-- to show their true self and open up to their peers.
Many juniors who participated in Challenge Day on February 12 and 13 were impressed with the respect and love that was spread throughout the gym that day. Students were encouraged to show respect by holding up the universal sign language sign of love, by holding their hands high with the two middle fingers closed against their palms, whenever someone shared something personal.
Many juniors are happy about the outcome of Challenge Day and feel closer with their classmates, although many felt pressured to share information about themselves and to cry when the leaders put on sad music.
“I thought it was really good to get to know what other people have been through, it showed that we shouldn’t judge each other. [However,] I think they sensationalized it with the sad music; [the leaders] wanted you to cry,” said junior Dana Sembera.
Even though juniors felt pressured, they still agreed that what the leaders did was good to get you to open up.
Junior Nicole Zorniak said, “I felt really awkward, I didn’t want to go out of my comfort zone. They pushed you to do it [open up], it helped me overcome my fear of talking about things.”
The day was a rollercoaster of emotions for the class. One minute they were talking, dancing, playing games and telling each other about their heroes. The next minute, sharing hardships or emotional problems and having a good cry about it.
To keep up the good spirits, juniors will have to remind themselves of the progress made that day and treat each other with love and respect.