The American Dream vs The American Myth

The American Dream vs The American Myth

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     After being stuck en route for an enormously long period of time, would you think that the destination had better be worth all the time spent getting there? Many people would say yes. Think about it. If you were on a journey which lasted months, possibly years of your life, you would want to arrive at your destination seeing the same thing you had dreamt of during the trip. What if, when you got there, you discovered that the dream was actually a myth? The American settlers discovered just that. Is this not similar to High School? Everybody has a specific view, or dream, of High School that very first day they walk in as a freshman. How often is this dream a realistic one?

     Take, for instance, the first settlers in Jamestown. These people came solely for capitalistic purposes. They figured that if they developed settlements, they would surely profit. With this goal taking over all others in their minds, they did not survive. Many factors contributed to this. For example, the settlers were not prepared for the new area. They believed that they could walk right in and succeed. What they did not realize, however, is that they needed to prepare more. They settled on a horrible piece of land, which killed many off due to sickness. They weren’t able to take care of themselves, as they figured that the Indians would provide cheap labor. The settlers were proved wrong, as the Indians rebelled against the Europeans in raids. Settlers in Jamestown were not prepared for America, thus leading to their downfall.

High School can be directly related to Jamestown. Every year, many freshmen catch themselves doing a complete turn-around soon after the year begins. Freshmen usually split into different cliques soon after High School starts. These cliques are usually groups of people with similar interests, whether it is fashion, sports, or math club. All through Middle School, the children were guided along by the administration. This leads them to believe that High School will be the same way. Once in High School, many feel lost and unprepared. The first day of High School, many freshman get to the lunch room, sit at their tables, and wait to be called up to the lunch lines. They were pampered all through their earlier schooling, so they figured that they would be told when to go eat.

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If they had not followed the suit of other, older, students, they would not be able to eat, as no one would go buy their lunches. The freshmen are dependant on the teachers and upperclassman. Many do not know where certain rooms are, what they should be doing, certain policies, and so forth. They waltzed into the school expecting that people would make exceptions for them, very much the same way that the Europeans expected the Indians to do for them.

There is a basic theme between the freshmen in High School and the settlers in the New World. Survival has been important throughout history, and it will continue to be necessary for the rest of our time on Earth. The European settlers wasted time looking for gold and passages to Asia. This time should have been spent growing crops and building shelter. Had the settlers put priority first, they may have overcome the difficulties and flourished more then they actually did. High School freshmen are very similar. Once Eighth grade ended, the soon-to-be freshmen got started right away trying to succeed in their dream of survival. This included meeting and going out with the elder upper-classmen, going to parties, doing drugs and drinking, and anything else to make the transition easier. Unfortunately for many of the freshmen, this is not the true method of survival. Instead, they should concentrate on grades and their academic career. Students also need to develop good sleeping habits for High School. Many students believe that High School opens the door to many freedoms, such as staying out late into the night. If freshmen don’t go to bed until the early hours of the morning every school night, they will not survive. Many students fall into the Myth of High School, just like the settlers fell into the American Myth.

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