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Walk In My Shoes Week

When empathy is emphasized

Natasha Karam and Zoe Deralas

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A school environment has evolved to become a society where students often feel the obligation to maintain perfect scores while still balancing extracurriculars, a social life, and the struggles and internal conflicts a teenager faces. Many students’ turn to social media as a gateway to create the misconception of a ‘perfect life,’ which often leads to the struggles a student goes through to be overlooked. A down face in the hall is perceived as grumpy before sad or unstable. CdM’s PAL (Peer Assistance Leadership Club), is having their Walk In My Shoes Week to promote acceptance and give students an insight to others to stories, to “walk in their shoes.”
Walk In My Shoes Week (WIMS) was held from March 26 through the 30th by PAL based on their instagram and facebook accounts (@wimscdm and @cdmwims). PAL created a safe platform for student’s to voice their stories, opinions, and struggles throughout the week. While some decided to remain anonymous, others used the opportunity to share a part about them with their peers. Either way, it gave student’s the chance to express the thoughts and stories a student can undergo.
Sophomore, Faith McGrath, gave her peers an understanding of the both struggles and blessings she has experienced with radial dysplasia. She told CdM’s PAL,” Growing up I used to get teased a lot about my arms from kids at school and I always let it get the best of me. As I grew older I realized that I could use my disability as an impact in this world to really inspire others. Ever since I was little I would want to share my story with the whole world. For now I feel like sharing my story with the school would be a great start.”
School has the capability to and does create stress for students, however, students lives at home and their stories are definitely not always recognized. PAL created this week so fellow students can recognize that their peers do have stories that make them strong-minded individuals. The fact that students are brave enough to be open to share their personal important experiences with PAL is truly a great step for our generation. Being open and talking about what one has been through is shown to help ones’ mind in staying clear and focused on their everyday life.
Although, not all stress in school is caused by academics, but often the people surrounding them. An anonymous shared their source shared their insight with PAL and stating,”People really need to get over the idea of cliques and exclusitivity. Every single one of us has something in common, something to bond over, something we share.”
Another beneficial factor of Walk in My Shoes Week, is that one students’ story can help another who may possibly be in the same situation. It is also another way for students to bond with each other, and become closer as a whole, because the first step to anything being accomplished correctly- is honesty. Being honest with what one has gone through, and explaining how they learned and grew from that situation is one of the best traits to possess.

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