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Changing images: New series helps boost self-esteem

Teenagers face pressures to fit in, and whether they like it or not, they are labeled by the way they dress, the way they act and who they hang out with.

MTVs hit new show, If you Really Knew Me, focuses on bringing different people from diverse cliques together through a program known as “Challenge Day”.

The purpose of “Challenge Day” is to show youth that even though they don’t have the same friends, or come from the same background, your problems may be the same as someone else’s. “Challenge Day” is orchestrated to unite schools and show teenagers that they are not alone.

My first impression of the show was that MTV created another program for people to get attention. I remember thinking, “It’s just high school; grow up and deal with your problems!”

Yet, the more I watched the show the more intrigued I became. If You Really Knew Me is an outlet for kids with real problems and no one to turn to. Some problems seem blown out of proportion. For example, there are girls who are in tears because they are fighting with their best friend, and then there are other girls who are struggling with their self-esteem. My first response was, “every girl deals with that get over it!” but then I thought about it: every teenage girl does deal with that and it does tear girls down at times and sometimes they may not be able to handle the situation. By broadcasting these issues on television, other girls dealing with these same problems may be able to find comfort and strength.

Besides the petty stuff, If You Really Knew Me welcomes you into the lives of teenagers who are living their lives in a constant struggle. Whether it’s their parents’ divorce, a loved one’s death, an eating disorder, having a parent in jail, or feeling unloved at home, there are youth across the world facing similar obstacles in life.

Through “Challenge Day,” teenagers realize they are not as alone as they feel and they start letting people in.

The students split up into groups, telling their life stories starting with the words “If you really knew me…” They go on to open up to their small groups about their struggles and they begin to feel connected to people who they never associated with before. Problems between friends and cliques become resolved through “Challenge Day” and the student body is united to form a more comfortable high school environment. It is a great way to unite the student body and help end the separation within schools.

When schools want to bring “Challenge Day” to their campuses they go through a process. “Challenge Day” is $3,200 per day. The cost includes, pre-program coaching, a six hour program for a maximum of 100 students and a minimum of 25 adults, two trained program leaders, banners to promote “Challenge Day”, and post program follow-up.

There is a movement to bring “Challenge Day” to Bryan High. For more information, search Facebook for “Bring Challenge Day to Bryan High.”

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