Column: MTV at MHS: if we really knew each other

Julia Halpin | Staff Writer

If any of you are avid MTV watchers, you might have seen the show “If You Really Knew Me.” Traveling to different schools around the country, the show delves into the lives of specific high school students in order to reveal who they “really are.” Surprisingly so, people admit to rather personal details on this show. From drama at home to struggles with friends or health, they’re fighting past the standard rumors and gossip to get to the raw characteristics of each person within the hallways of any ordinary high school building.

Proving that no one “really knows” each other.

Watching these teenagers, who are somewhat similar to me, I imagined that exact camera crew strutting through our very own Mason High School. What would we own up to, confess, reveal about our own lives? Or even worse, are we satisfied with knowing nothing more than the surface facts about the majority of our peers?

The second football game of the season rolled around and, just like any other ordinary Friday night, I was there with my regular group of friends. One of my fellow junior class companions walks up greeting the group, giving the regular round of hugs to the surrounding girls and partaking in that weird handshake every boy seems to know. Rather than giving me a simple, “Hey Julia,” the boy bluntly looks at me and says, “Yeah, I don’t know you.”

Too bad I sit next to you in Spanish, buddy.

Walk in, sit down, glance to your right. I’m right there. How he didn’t even know my name, I was curious to know. Yes, it is first bell, so most of the time I’m a little sleepy. And yes, it is Spanish (not exactly my hitch), so I may be somewhat quieter as well, but really? Not even a name?

Rather than being aggravated, I chuckled, for the fact that the person I sit directly next to in Spanish didn’t even recognize me is a little humorous. Really kid, my name is the same in English as it is in Spanish, so you don’t have that excuse going for you. Even better, I sit by the clock, so it’s not like you haven’t glanced my way once or twice.

Humor aside, knowing a name of a person you see every day is right below common courtesy.

And even more so, knowing that I go by “Julia” is like knowing the name of a food you’ve never tried; it’s easy. Those kids on that MTV show may know one another’s names, but nothing beyond that. No personality traits, college dreams, hardships — just a face that may or may not be recognizable. The thousands of faces we see every day in our school — each one is more than just a name.

There are nearly 4,000 students at MHS and it is impossible to know every single one of them. Maybe it’s a naïve of me to think that I would be recognized by a classmate, but seriously, MTV shouldn’t have to come to our school and pull an intervention in order for people to get to know each other.

Not all of us are going to be friends; I get that. Even if we don’t hang out on weekends and tell one another every detail of our personal lives, acknowledging people outside your regular group of friends is, well, nice. Venture out of your personal bubble; it might make someone else smile.