Ever since I can remember, I have been provided exceptional opportunities by my community, family, teachers, and peers. Of course, everywhere you go there are usually exceptional opportunities, but Forest Hills is truly different for some reason. It is hard to pinpoint, but the culture of Forest Hills is unique, and it has been often dubbed as “The Forest Hills Bubble.” What I can’t wrap my brain around is why the Bubble gets so much criticism. Obviously, there are various drawbacks to being in this bubble, with the most common gripe among critics being the fact that we never experience true hardship in the Bubble, or that we are not exposed to the real world. While both of these criticisms are generally true in many cases, there are certainly exceptions to this stereotype. Many of my classmates, friends, and peers have experience true hardship in their lives, even with the so-called protection of the Bubble. With all of the criticism that the bubble receives, my honest opinion is that I am highly grateful for the Bubble. The opportunities that I have been provided with in Forest Hills have given me a fundamental advantage moving forward, and have provided me with valuable skills and experiences that have made me a well-rounded, employable individual. Just because I look out my window and see green grass, trees, and well-maintained homes does not mean that I haven’t been exposed to the realities of the outside world.
Central High alone has brought “the real world” into perspective for me, and has in many ways smashed the stereotype of being nothing like the outside world. Another reason that I am thankful for the Bubble is the outstanding community that I have been surrounded with. I have come to learn that Forest Hills truly has some of the kindest, most giving people in the world. Why would I not want to be surrounded by these people as I grow up, even if it is in the Bubble? Many of the adults that I look up to today have been in the Bubble for most of their lives, and it is because of them that the Bubble is so beneficial to me. The bubble has allowed me to grow academically, athletically, and socially, all in an environment full of encouraging people. The Bubble has been, and will continue to be, a greenhouse that has provided me the opportunity to grow and change under the right conditions, while allowing me to adapt to my natural environment.
I know, my opinion is probably coming off as one from a protected, coddled Forest Hills kid to you. And that is because I am a Forest Hills kid, I am under the Bubble, and I am thankful for the protection that the Bubble has offered me. To the opponents of the bubble, just understand that yes, Forest Hills kids are treated differently under the bubble; and yes, sometimes we do not experience some hardships that people in other communities do; but we have all benefitted immensely from the bubble, some of us without even knowing it. Teachers, students, administrators, coaches, we all benefit from the support of the Bubble every day because of the social, cultural, and economic stability it often provides. So let us all understand something about the bubble: it is flawed, it is not perfect, but it is highly beneficial. All of us will look back one day and miss the Bubble, and hey, some of us may like it so much that we never leave. Take it or leave it, but I like my Bubble.