Being a high schooler, and having made it through freshman year without being hazed, it has occured to me that hazing is an entirely useless and idiotic practice. In my opinion, it is nothing but a power trip for the seniors. It's like they're saying "I'm bigger than you and I'll do whatever I damn well please to you, and you'd better like it."

You see, being an athlete, (where hazing most oftenly occurs before the college years of fraternities and sororites) I made it clear that I had no intention of getting hazed. I vehemently opposed hazing. I was not hazed. I still became very close to all of my teammates, and was definitely a part of the team. I've heard all sorts of bogus explanations for hazing, such as "It's a tradition, everyone gets hazed" "It makes the freshmen feel like part of the team" etc. Every one of these excuses is lame. Ask any freshman whether they'd prefer to be hazed or not, (those that haven't been brainwashed into believing that not only is it fun but nescessary to be hazed for them to fit into the high school culture) and they will reply that they DO NOT WANT TO BE HAZED. There is a good reason for hazing to be illegal. Often the boys' teams hazing rituals involve getting the haze-ee plastered, and then humiliating him. This encourages underage drinking. This is very bad for athletes. Other forms of hazing involve making the haze-ees dress up as a member of the opposite sex, or dressing them up in ridiculous manners and painting their faces. This is humiliating for most people.

I wish I could teach freshmen to stand up for themselves, and not take this kind of abuse without fighting. NO one should respect anyone else merely because of their age, or lack thereof. People should be respected for who they are, not what year in high school have acheived. Seniors only haze to justify their hazing experiences, and it is time to stop this process. Report hazing, and if you are a senior, think about what psychological and physical effects you can create in someone. You can humiliate them and make them hate you, or treat them with respect, and maybe form some close friendships.