By ALEX CASTRO
Socialization: a word that makes most high school students duck and cover.
Regardless of your interpretation of this word, socialization means more than mixing in with others.
During school, we socialize with people who have similar interests and hobbies and build impactful connections and skills that will last far past our high school years.
To illustrate, according to Tilburg University psychologist Theo Klimstra, “Forming one’s identity is thought to be the key developmental task of adolescence, but profound changes in personality traits also occur in this period.” To elaborate, high school is when we are most impressionable, so everything happening around us can make a large impact on who we will become. Therefore, socializing can help us develop and reinforce our interests and values, which may define us for the rest of our lives.
Furthermore, socialization in high school teaches us the necessary skills needed to triumph in all our lifelong endeavors.
At school, we practice anticipatory socialization; in other words, we rehearse the norms of how people act in the real world. For example conversing with teachers and administrative personnel teaches us how to act in a professional environment. Additionally, chatting with friends and classmates discloses the social norms and conventions that people apply to everyday encounters. Accordingly, socializing is the best way to enhance your personal skills and gain the knowledge needed to have meaningful discussions with peers, friends and employers.
Moreover, since the workplace is a competitive environment, soft skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication are essential to set yourself apart from others.
Clubs and their events are of the many places that cultivate our soft skills. In order to be successful in the public arena, you will need to know how to navigate conversations and approach unfamiliar people. However, socializing in clubs is much easier since you share common interests, thereby developing the skills to speak to different types of people. Consequently, you not only thrive under social interactions, but you excel; undoubtedly, conversing with others becomes second hand nature.
Nevertheless, critics may undermine the importance of socialization in high school because communication through technology is easier and more efficient; some high schoolers may even attest that they spend more time on messaging apps than talking to people at school. Yet, face-to-face conversations are what burst the bubble of timid high school students and compel them to face their fear of public speaking. By socializing with people from all different walks of life, the shyness within these students can be effectively extinguished, to the point that they will no longer tremble in public speaking situations. That is how socialization shows our true colors and promotes self-growth.
The real world is a scary place, but isn’t the purpose of high school to smooth our transition to the real world? It teaches students the proper ways of speaking and carrying themselves in both formal and informal settings. Undoubtedly, the lessons we learn in high school will lead to success and a great social life.