Between Us: an introduction

Daniel Shen, Editor-in-Chief

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Dear Reader,

 

School, extracurriculars, friends, family, food and sleep. 

This is your average high school student. Replace school and extracurriculars with work, and you have your average adult.

Characterized this way, life seems pretty simple. School is for learning, and extracurriculars are for enjoyment and more learning. Friends and family are the people you care about, whereas food and sleep are necessities.

So what makes life what it is? What makes it interesting? Challenging? Meaningful?

Evidently, the answer to that question varies from person to person. Some people say that school interests them. Others might say that their extracurriculars allow them freedom in ways unafforded by school. And if food is what fascinates you, I’m not going to stop you from pursuing that.

Among these elements of life, what interests me most is not school nor extracurriculars, but our relationships. I believe that the most meaningful things in life are the ones that influence us personally — and there is nothing from which we learn, and by which we grow, more than our relationships. By impacting us emotionally, contributing to character growth or even changing our worldview, relationships truly define us as people.

Indeed, everyone invests time and emotion to nurture their relationships. As high school students, though, we rarely encounter objective and organized systems of evaluating them, as we do with the things we learn in school. To put it another way, although we have social experiences every day — through our friends, teachers, family — we’ve never actually reflected on those experiences from a sociological angle. For example, are our friendships inherently valuable, or are they simply indirect means of self-advancement? Or how should we deal with fundamental differences in beliefs between us and others, especially when those other people are our friends?

I’m here to step back and take another look at these questions, another look at us as social beings. Hopefully, the things which I discuss will apply to your lives as well.

Please let me know, by LoopMail or otherwise, if you’d like to talk about anything that I write, or anything at all. I’d love to start a conversation about the things we share, or nominally, the things between us.

 

Sincerely,

Daniel Shen

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