By Zaira Vaquero
Self expression is highly encouraged at Novato High. NHS allows students to express their feelings in ways that are both productive and intended to reach a greater audience. Art is displayed around Novato High, murals cover many of the walls, inspirational writing and drawings are displayed in textbooks and sometimes desks. In a time of vulnerability, bathroom stalls are often drawn on, expressing both love and hate for the school.
On a stall door in the girl’s bathroom by the cafeteria, there are messages that speak volumes. “All everyone cares about at this school is what people wear. No one gives a s*** about anything else,” is written on one stall, “END MY MISERY” is displayed on another for students to read.
Believe it or not, thoughts are constantly being expressed outside of social media. There's a rewarding feeling when you have the ability to write down your thoughts and put them into words.
“As cheesy as it sounds, keeping a journal not only helps you grow as a person, but also helps to accept the things that happen in your life,” said sophomore Paola Magana. “It’s always good to look back and realize what you've overcome and to accept that there's always a good and a bad reaction to everything.”
Journals have become scarce throughout the years. Not as many high schoolers keep diaries, as it has become more of a chore with schedules getting busier and homework loads increasing.
“Finding time to write has been challenging over the past couple of years. Because I'm constantly between school and sports,” Magana said. “I don’t have much free time, but when I do, I like to write about things that have had an impact on my week through songs or short stories.”
Senior Grace Levy has compared Novato High to Hollywood Arts, which is a fictional school in the highly praised Nickelodeon show Victorious. The school is flooded with art, marked with sculptures and sayings. Because there is a great focus on music, literature, sculpture, dance, and film, Novato High is encompassed in all these different types of art brought upon by aspiring artists. Sophomore Sydni Cooke is one of those talented artists.
“Because art is supposed to make people feel things, I was doing a self portrait and I wanted it to look like me and then I was like ‘this is so boring, no one is going to look at a normal self portrait and think ‘oh my god that’s so cool.’” said Cooke. “They might be like ‘that's good art’ but no one is going to think it's a cool thing. Instead I made it look like I was dead. That makes people either feel uncomfortable, makes people scared. It's just different.”
Expression through art has been an important aspect of daily life since the Renaissance. Famous paintings such as the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel, and the famous David sculpture inspired new generations to form their own ideas and convey them through any form of art that excites them. Students often refer back to classical paintings in their own art work.
“Art is a lot more modern now,” Cooke said. “It's less about technique and more about emotion, which is cool. “It's really cool to see that art period [Renaissance] where it was based around technique and making you look at it longer, not for emotion but more so for technical purposes and composition.”
As intellectual growth continues at schools, so does emotional growth. Teenagers undergo a large amount of stress. With creative outlets, outside of the judgement brought on by social media, many students feel much more comforted by writing in personal journals, anonymously on school property, or by creating paintings.