How Has High School Influenced Your Identity?

Our high school experiences can’t help but influence our life and identity, and that’s true of practically everyone.

The reason is that at the time that we are approaching or in high school, we are in the process of maturing, emotionally, physically, and mentally. We are discovering who we are, what we like and don’t like, what we can or can’t do, and so on.

That it happens to coincide with spending 7+ hours a day in a building together with the same group of peers and teachers means those people and experiences will take on a profound meaning.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What makes you you?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘What gives a person value?’


For some people, high school is full of growth and liberation, a time of discovery. For others, it might be a time of persecution. You can discover there are others like you, or that you are alone.

Are there traits or behaviors that you have today that you can trace to an experience you had in high school? How has high school influenced your identity?

Related questions: High school or college? Why do we like what we like? How have you changed? What was the best time in your life? How do you learn?

Thanks to Ingrid Moon for the question.

What Do You Wish You Had Learned As A Child?

One of the great tragedies of life is that it is easiest to learn things when you are a child, but don’t yet know what you want to learn.

As a result, people often regret not learning things as a child. For example, speaking a different language, or perfecting a physical task like hitting a golf ball or shooting a free-throw. If only you had stuck with those piano lessons, you might be a concert pianist now!


Related: We often learn from reading. Listen to the Intellectual Roundtable podcast where Michael and Lee give their answers to the question, ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’ Stay tuned for a bonus question, ‘How do you show thanks?’


To be sure, you can still learn many skills later in life. Some of them, you can even become proficient doing, if you have the desire and the perseverance.

However, there’s little doubt that many of those same skills could have been learned even faster, and potentially even more comprehensively, if you had started them when you were still developing, both mentally and physically.

Are there any skills you wish you had learned as a child? Are there any talents you now have that you fostered when you were younger that you appreciate?

Related questions: Children or adults? What is your favorite childhood memory? Youth or wisdom? How do you learn? What’s the most useful thing you’ve ever learned?

 

Is Technology Neutral?

The word “technology” refers to methods, systems, and devices which are the result of scientific knowledge being used for practical purposes. Examples are all around us. Whether you’re reading this question on a desktop, laptop, or a smartphone you are, of course, using technology.

Cameras are an example, from the early devices called daguerreotypes to today’s digital cameras. Are each of these devices neutral, their value only determined by their use? For example, cameras can be used positively or negatively.  You might capture a loved family portrait or stalk celebrities as an over-zealous paparazzi.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘Is technology neutral?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘Freedom or security?’


In addition, what about technology being used on a grander scale? For instance, the science of splitting the atom is used to produce electricity from nuclear reactors as well as to build potentially population-erasing bombs. Are these technologies neutral or do they have inherent value?

Simply asking if nuclear energy is “clean,” or do its waste stockpiles serve as a danger for current and countless future generations implies value, doesn’t it?

Do nuclear bombs make us less safe due to their destructive capacity? Or alternately, do they make us safer because of the deterrence their existence creates?

This debate is a long-standing one. Critics claim that technology is used/built for a reason — reasons that carry inherent positive or negative values — while the other side posits that it is simply a process or tool that derives value solely from its use by the user.

Where do you stand on this issue? Is technology neutral?

Related questions: Are science and religion compatible? What role does technology play in your life? What do you get out of social media?