Each week, "If You Really Knew Me" spotlights students who participate in Challenge Day and come out the other side empowered to be true to themselves and judge other people less. On tonight's episode, we met Katie, a teen who says that the experience will stick with her forever. Check out our follow-up with her below...
Many people have asked me the simple question, "What is Challenge Day?" If only the answer was as simple as the question. I don’t think there is any one way to reply, but my version of the answer would be, "Challenge Day is one of the most amazing and unique experiences I'll ever encounter."
Imagine walking into a room filled with people you’ve been in school with for years -- some you’ve seen around the halls, and a few you didn’t know at all. Could you imagine opening up to these same people within a few hours, telling them things you've never had the chance to tell even your closest friends? This is what happens on Challenge Day.
When walking the halls of high school, we see each other and hear what's being said, but do we ever really listen? It's a key skill we were taught in early childhood, but sometimes we forget to utilize it. I always felt like I was a good listener, but at Challenge Day, I was finally able to tell my own story.
I'm now not afraid to let my smile drop, and my true feelings come out. Also, you realize that there are so many people like you, each of us wearing a superficial face we put on every day. What we're really feeling lurks beneath, waiting to be heard.
Even if you haven't had the blessed opportunity of attending a Challenge Day, I'd like for you to take the few things I learned and use them to your best ability. Be the true you, listen to those around you and remember, a hug and the reassurance of love can be the best medicine.