In every community there’s bound to be a mainstream. From being politically liberal to the light-hearted things like enjoying PMT, most of us have preferences that are the norm. But there are also those who stray from the typical, who bring diversity, interesting ideas and controversy. Some of them end up in the center of attention, others go unnoticed. Here are three seniors who deviate from the conventional but make up part of our community.
Humor in the Dark
We showcase our ideal selves on social media, by posting photos of beautiful scenery, sharing uplifting posts and cracking humorous puns. The rest of the rather unpleasant moments in our lives happen behind the scenes, out of the spotlight. Senior Jayson Chao, however, shares his unfortunate experiences on Facebook—posting witty jokes, comments and stories.
As someone who’s experienced anxiety, Chao shares his dark and humorous insight on sensitive topics.
“The funny thing about mental disorders is that I ended up diagnosed with the ones that I always made jokes about having,” Chao said in a recent Facebook post. Facebook is an outlet to act differently than he would in person, allowing him to express his negative experiences in unconventional ways.
“On the internet, I like to be a more exaggerated version of myself,” Chao said, “so a lot of [my Facebook posts]are just me taking my viewpoints or things that have happened to me and just blowing them up or adding a comedy element…If I use comedy or some self- deprecating thing, then people can go ‘hahaha’ and think about [the issues].”
Spotlight on the Controversial
54 comments, 17 likes. That’s the reaction that senior Kareeda Kabir received for her Facebook post. The post criticized students who choose to attend colleges with academic environments similar to that of MVHS and refuse to leave their comfort zone. After seeing the 54 comments, most of them disparaging, Kabir hopes for people to ask her more questions and recognize that she’s trying to improve MVHS, not simply criticize her peers.
“I think people did misunderstand me … [but]I don’t really mind; I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing,” Kabir said. “I invite people to talk to me and some people do.”
MVHS is notorious for its highly competitive and academically-driven atmosphere, and though her views aren’t necessarily surprising, she’s not afraid to share them in a controversial light.
“A lot of what people are saying about Monta Vista is like, ‘People are so kind’ and ‘We’re so supportive of each other,’” Kabir said, “but when you actually go behind the scenes and talk to people one-on-one, they say really awful things, specifically now about college… People really do capitalize off of other people’s failures.”
Usually, introverted ones shy away from the center of attention, but that’s not why senior Eliot Hsu is out of the spotlight—he’s an extrovert who chooses his social events selectively.
Hsu focuses on small-group interactions and enjoys taking initiative among his close friends.
“[For] small social events like my friend group, I try to organize them pretty regularly. It’s a different dynamic… whenever I try to hang out with friends, it’s more like something we just want to do. I’m an ENFP [Myers-Briggs personality type] but it means in all of my friendships I often put everything in more and that often means that I don’t have a lot of bandwidth for a lot of people.”
Hsu rejects the popularity-based events that attract school-wide attention.
“For the people who are [nominated for Homecoming court], they deserve to be there because they’re outgoing with everyone, but personally I don’t really care because for me, that’s not what’s important,” Hsu said. “Different people have different priorities.”