Overcoming Negativity at an American High School

Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.


“I hate coming to this school.” I vividly remember overhearing during the first week at my new school. I couldn't believe someone would say such a thing in America. Back in Japan, students certainly complained about school but never with such anger. However, over the next couple of weeks, I could see why my American classmates professed their hatred on a daily basis. Our campus was covered in graffiti with profanity written on the walls, along with constant vandalism and trash littering the bathroom floors. It seemed the students at my school were just zombies who attended classes out of obligation, rather than out of interest. As an outsider looking in, it was difficult not to succumb to the negativity of some of my peers. Instead, I focused on the positives and what I found is that American high schools have many advantages too. On my way to lunch, I spotted a large bulletin board filled with application forms for sports teams and clubs. Immediately, I was tingling with excitement. It seemed like a whole new world where a school could be used to develop my hobbies and interests. My previous schools in Korea tended to focus only on education, with every student rushing to leave at the final bell. Out of curiosity, I signed up...

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