Picture this: the day has just begun, and you're making your way to your locker. When you arrive, you're welcomed by your neighbor's locker door slamming open into your face and her friend sneezing violently into your eyes when you turn around to say hello.
Now that you have your books, you attempt to file into the mainstream of people flying past your locker as if a million dollars awaits them in the stairwell. You're forced to plow your way into the flow because a courteous student hasn't arrived yet to slow down to let you in. So now you have managed to push yourself in front of someone who obviously isn't a morning person and always finds just the right words to let you know how they feel.
You finally arrive at your homeroom, begin to follow the line of people in, and suddenly realize you're eating the door because the person in front of you decided that they couldn't hold it for one more second.
Sound familiar? This is the everyday morning experience for many students. The constant rush of the teenage experience has obviously taken a toll on manners, because they don't exist most of the time. Whether it's the loud obnoxious screaming and cursing, the ramming of people into others during hall passing, or any other discourteous or disrespectful act, it's present, and many, including me, feel this behavior should be tamed.
One of the more frequent and annoying types of the courtesy offenders are those who declare the middle of the hallway their personal social area. Instead of moving to the side to speak to each other, some insist on dragging their entourage into the center of traffic, making sure that it's almost impossible to pass.
Along with the hallway complaint comes the sneezing-and-coughing-in-the-faces-of others routine. I'm sure people do not appreciate getting sprayed by others when only minimal energy is required to lift your hand to cover your mouth.
I have to admit, my personal favorites are those who yell at teachers. What happened to the good old days when it was rude for a student to call a teacher an "idiot"? Along with this disrespect comes the fact that they are disturbing the classrooms around them.
Although there are many discourteous people in my school, there are also many who care. It is greatly appreciated when people say "Excuse me" when running into someone or cover their mouths during a violent sneeze.
Victims of disrespect and discourteous manners must speak up. One must be honest about his/her flaws and be willing to fix them. Finally, one must be held responsible for one's actions. So the next time someone rams into you, sneezes in your face, or takes up more than one parking spot, voice your opinion and demand to be respected. ?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.