The Ripple Effect | Teen Ink

The Ripple Effect

May 31, 2009
By Paige Plancich BRONZE, Bellingham, Washington
Paige Plancich BRONZE, Bellingham, Washington
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

“You just may start a chain reaction,” Rachel Scott. Imagine a middle school where the majority of sixth graders were swearing or doing drugs. What kind of environment does this create for other students? How did they even come up with the ideas that have been embedded into their brains? Could it be because of their loved seventh or eighth graders, or even older siblings? These people simply grow as their role models, their influences and their ideas. Studies have proven that younger kids that look up to young adults were more likely to become more like them.

I firmly believe that the actions of younger adults are effecting the youth of America. Due to the swearing in the halls, or sexual or racist comments being made around the younger generation, the thoughts about these actions being okay seriously effects the younger students. We are the ones that children look up to. We are supposed to be positive role models for them. Since they are younger, they may not come to understand that what older teens are doing is either wrong or illegal.

The ripple effect that is created is so harmful to any society. While eighth graders or seventh graders prance the hallway swearing, younger sixth graders are patiently awaiting to enter their classrooms. This is the start of this ripple effect. These once innocent children begin to swear, leading to other intolerable actions and spread the bad habits. In two years, these sixth graders are eighth graders. Now, they teach the new sixth graders the habits they have learned. This causes the ripples to penetrate and grow even more.

Actions like this prove to show that since older kids are acting upon these bad habits, the younger generation is following in our path because they think that since we are doing it, they should to. A clean, hopeful society now may turn to drugs and other illegal actions. I am not saying to act as if we are all perfect and nothing bad happens because that is not true. However, I am saying that every action or path we choose, a younger person may follow. Mistakes are apart of life and that’s how we learn, but choosing to do right instead of wrong really can effect many lives.

Why though? Why makes this a problem? Well, whether a student does or does not do these bad habits, a student in a prevailing school with several higher grade level students is more likely to start these bad habits (test proved positive by Gary Mallard). Whereas we control our actions and our influences, they do not have to knowledge to do so. They loose control of conceptions of equitable grading, personal support and their responsibility trying to portray themselves as the label “cool” and losing who they are because of how teens influence them.

I personally think that it is strange to have such an influence on one or several lives. This makes me think more cautiously about what I am doing and what I am saying around younger students. Why though, you ask? It’s because I realize that someone is looking up to me which makes me come to find that I am special. I am a pawn in a thing called life and I have the impact to change a life. If you have a child looking up to you, wouldn’t you want the best for him or her? So, why not take a stand and be cautious of what you and your friends do around school and younger audiences? In doing so, the height of a better society expands.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Sep. 10 2010 at 8:20 pm
broken_red_wagon BRONZE, Bothell, Washington
1 article 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I would rather be hated for who I am, than be loved for who I'm not." Kurt Cobain

You have a very good point. Imagine what fourth graders will be doing/saying in five years?

on Jun. 12 2009 at 11:25 pm
pinksage33 BRONZE, Woodstock, New York
4 articles 1 photo 211 comments
I agree 100%!!!