by HALEY MILLAN Editor-in-chief
Challenge Day came back to MTHS on December 11, 12, and 13 as an all-day event. Students were eager to partake in the life-changing activities, and held high hopes for creating a strong unity with fellow classmates.
Challenge Day is an international organization that travels from school to school in order to bring students together and create a positive environment. Their mission is “to provide youth and their communities with experiential programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth, and full expression.”
Many students raved about the program when it came to our school for the first time last year. Word spread about how transforming the activities were, and it inspired many students to sign up this year.
“I know a lot of my friends had only signed up to miss a day of school, but once we were there, it was kind of eye-opening to see how much some of these kids here in our school go through on a daily basis,” says senior Brandon Hyman.
The activities got emotional and raw, but students felt free to speak about their troubles because of the confidentiality Challenge Day promises.
At first, the activities were meant to be awkward in order to get people to feel uncomfortable. It was intended to build a bond with the strangers that filled the room. Afterwards, students were broken up into small groups where they spoke about personal issues, or the “if you really knew me” activity. It was a very moving activity that forced our classmates to open up and tell the truth about themselves.
However, the most cathartic activity of all was “cross the line”. The Challenge Day leaders gave a scenario and students crossed over to the other side of the auxiliary gym if it applied to them. After they crossed, the students who did not cross gave them the Challenge Day sign for “I love you”.
Senior Viki Daninska says, “The ‘cross the line’ part was honestly the saddest. I was crying just watching other people cry, I wanted to reach out and tell them it’ll be okay. I really didn’t think Challenge Day would have that affect on me.”
“Be The Change” is the movement in effect of Challenge Day, with the mission of inspiring people to be the change they want in the world, through the change formula: notion, choose, and act.
Challenge Day opened people’s eyes to see that they are not the only ones who have problems, and being a bully or rude to someone else means that you are not happy with yourself. It also made people aware of what they say can hurt others, and that just because they themselves may not find it offensive, they might offend others.
Through Challenge Day, students came together and unified the school. It is certainly not an event to miss, and if MTHS continues this program in the future, I fully recommend participating at least once. You will leave Challenge Day as a different person.
Did you partake in Challenge Day? What did you think about it? And if you didn’t, do you plan on going next year if it’s offered again?