Goal: Improve structure and Convey Tone
Ten, Nine, Eight Seven..... the game clock ticks as the crowd continues to rumble. Everyone is watching to see what you're going to do. You have ten seconds to make a play but you can't decide which one to pick. Do you go with the slightly confusing but more effective one? Or the easy but "we could lose the entire game" one? Your coach is screaming "red two", but you want to run "miami right". You follow your coach so you don't hear it after; it ends up you lose the game. What would have happened if you went with your gut? Would you have won the game or would you still be the laughing stock of the school. No one knows the answer until they experience it themselves, sort of like the ladder.
The ladder is a tricky place to live; you can spend your entire high school career gradually climbing and fall down in a minute.
Everyone is watching to see what you're going to do every minute of every day. We all know that one group of girls in our school that thinks they're the queen bees. The ones that walk around with their Michael Kors bags trying to decide, "what Sarah was even talking about." We all want to be apart of the ladder, even though we hate it. Everyone tries to climb to the peak of the ladder, just to feel what he or she feels for one day. Then you go and mess it all about by "hanging out with the nerds for a day". You say, "those are my true friends", acting like the queens of the ladder will care. They smirk and laugh while you try to recognize what you did wrong.
To them the biggest decision they have to make of a daily basis is "what new pair of UGGS I'm going to wear today." The bullshit of the ladder is unreasonably the worst part about high school. It's pure jealousy, just the hatred of stuck up girls who only care about themselves. You never know what it's like on top of the ladder until you get there, peering down on all the other "peasants" of high school (the funny part is they really think we're peasants). As unusual as it sounds, I was on top of that ladder. Thinking I was the "bomb dot com", as we would say, because we were making fun of the girl who wore the same thing to school everyday. But in reality, how do we actually know what she's going through? Waking up every morning only finding two pairs of dark washed jeans, with the hole on the inside of the thigh, because her dog chewed them. Her mom is working two jobs because her dad couldn't handle the pressure of having a kid at the age of eighteen, while she works a job and takes care of her brothers because her mom just doesn't have the time. Did we ever know the circumstances she went through everyday? No, we only cared about the appearance of the girl who wore the same pair of jeans everyday. Popularity is an addiction; you get caught up in the fake and frailness of it all. You pretend to be someone you're not because you think you'll be bumped up a step while someone else falls down.
The fake girls are what make the ladder, the ladder. You know the ones that walk around saying hi to every person with the intent of being the homecoming queen senior year, the one who thinks she actually is in gossip girl (xoxo). You know that girl; she has to be involved in everything to stay at the peak of the ladder as the leader of the pack. Do we hate her because she's "perfect" or do we hate her because she's the queen of the social division of our school? I say it's both, yet she thinks that the school is in the palm of her hands. The top queen is the one responsible for the group. Planning the slumber parties while excluding one member of the ladder because "she talks way too much". Last week she got together with her "best friend" talking about "what colors they want to be for homecoming" when voting hasn't even started, imagine that. The funny part about all of this is that we admire them because they have more than us; because they can walk down the hallway and everyone gets out of their way. Why should girls who are selfish, two faced, pretentious, and stubborn rule us? It's because we all want to be one of them.
I remember a time a few years back when I had a group of fairly close friends. We would always hang out with each other and we would wait the day at which we were to enter high school together. Gradually I started to lose them one by one. My friend was going against another member of our group, and before I knew it I was hurling the same insults as they were. "But she gained way too much weight, she can't hang out with us anymore," said one. "Why was she so embarrassing in front of those guys," said another, and before I knew it "she such a total loser," I said. It was all part of a process; part of a process that I thought was going to make me popular. If I could make someone look lower than I was, I would gain self-confidence and become more popular. I couldn't carry the baggage I had, knowing I had hurt someone who was close to me.
Now I stand on the sidelines, watching the lineman destroy the defensive line, sending them back fifteen yards (or fifteen rankings). The quarterbacks throw to the receivers who are just not fast enough to catch it, so they get pulled out of the game (out of the ladder). Being part of the ladder is colossal. Everyone knows your name and not to sit in your seat in Latin. Instead of wondering, "what Sarah was really talking about", you already know. The ladder gives you the opportunities to be on the inside, but is it worth it?