I don’t mean to toot my own horn but…

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I don’t mean to toot my own horn but…

Sara Entezarmahdi

In the midst of the crowded halls and sounds of pattering feet, it’s almost impossible to tune out the constant chatter all around MVHS’s campus. Conversations are deep-rooted with the need for validation and portray a sort of arrogance unique to our campus. “Real” conversation are diminishing.

MVHS students brag — a lot.

Here, bragging has ingrained itself into our conversation; it’s the default “small talk” of our community. When we speak to acquaintances, mutual friends or classmates, our introduction is often a boast, starting with, “Did you get above a 94 percent?” When we meet someone, we look for them to have an aura of self-assurance before we form an opinion.

MVHS students, especially, seem to veer their shallow, self-validating bragging habits towards a set of standard topics: grades, lack of sleep, fitness, sexual encounters and party culture.

It’s common to hear high school students discussing these topics — usually with close friends. But are MVHS students taking it too far? Probably.

Known for its competitive and academically-focused environment, MVHS students can talk about grades like there’s no tomorrow. It’s common to hear, “Are you in Pre Calc. or Calc. BC?” when listening among a crowd, others trying to find someone they’re able to discuss the test or homework with.

It’s a constant rivalry for the top. Unhealthy amounts of trivial discussion comparing grades leave students with a hunger for validation and a competitive persona — something MVHS doesn’t need any more of.
Rivalry for the top comes in all types of forms beyond mere grades. Popularized by media, sayings like “Do you even lift, bro?” and “Did you smash last night?” are frequently shared among teens.

Resulting in self consciousness and condoning such acts as obligatory, 49 percent of MVHS students, from a survey of 256, have said they’ve felt isolated before.

Of 259 students, 87 percent also mention the topic of sex does in fact linger in the hallways at MVHS. Conversations regarding the matter occur over through social media, texts and face-to-face
conversations.

It’s a regular circumstance to be at a sports bonding event, for example, and be interrogated about sexual preference, relationships and virginity. Games like “Never Have I Ever” and “Truth or Dare” are often played solely to flaunt who’s the most sexually active. Or at least who says they’re the most sexually active.

A popular topic of gloating at MVHS, 87 percent of 258 students suggest, is poor sleep etiquette. Whether one is up late studying or spending time out with friends, being awake past 12 a.m. seems to have its own set of benefits: you can brag about it.

Horrible, right? It’s as if students are promoting and validating negative habits. Since when has “I barely slept last night” been deemed more appealing than “I slept for eight hours and I feel great?”

As a result of talk regarding such matters at MVHS, many associate confidence with our achievements rather than our ability to hold a conversation.

Because when it comes down to the majority of MVHS, there are not a lot of those real conversations. The ones where we ask, “How are you doing? What was the best part of your day? What was the worst part of your day?” instead of the popular “How did you do on the test? What happened at the party?”

To humanize us Matadors, we don’t brag because we’re bad people. We brag because we’re insecure and scared. We brag because we want attention. We brag because we need validation.

However, when we go to college and enter the “real world” (thunder in the distance), we’ll see the world outside of our MVHS bubble. We’ll see that most other people don’t only want to talk about their test scores or how little they slept or what “bad” things they did that weekend. In the “real world,” people will take their tests, go to sleep, live their weekends and move on. No one wants to hear your insecurities through “humble brags” on repeat. And unlike in high school, where we’re all stuck together, in the “real world” people will move onto someone else.

There’s a problem in MVHS’ culture. Our attitude is too self-centered, too linear. So, how do we stop a whole school of over 2,000 kids from bragging?

Yet, that shouldn’t stop us from trying to better ourselves. Our attitude is our own choice. Administration can’t write up a policy or have a “No Bragging” week that will solve this problem. What we can do is adjust our mindset. Look up, leave Cupertino, meet new people, experience new things and learn how to hold a real conversation.