The importance of media in students’ lives


Glenn Carstens-Peters/Unsplash

Julian Feldman, Managing Editor

Whether it’s movies, television shows, music, or books, the media that students consume plays a large role in forming one’s character.

“When I get home I feel unproductive because I tend to watch an episode or two of TV before starting any of my work,” said junior Nicolas M., a former film studies student.

This is a feeling that many students share, but it may not be completely justified. Acts like these while seemingly unproductive can be extremely beneficial. Some students undergo a large amount of stress and tiring work while at school, so relaxing following a long day should not be something one feels guilty about doing.

Watching television and movies is not only a pleasurable activity but is also something that helps one’s emotional well-being. While watching a movie or show can seem like a mindless, passive way to unwind, students often feel a true connection to characters in films. This can create a comforting sense that the problems and feelings they are experiencing are not unique to them. 

“When we recognize conflicts we are going through in characters we see, it can be very therapeutic,” said Film Studies and English teacher James Desmond.

The Film Studies class teaches students how to get the most out of the visual media they experience. 

“When we relate to a character we’re recognizing something in ourselves,” said Desmond.

In addition, getting to know people who are different through depictions of their experiences on screen can help one understand and accept them. This is something that can be utilized in classes beyond film studies. 

“It is very beneficial when teachers incorporate film into the curriculum. Lessons can be taught through film,” said senior Film Studies student Lola D.

An individual’s high school years are some of the most formative years regarding the development of their values, morals, and behavioral tendencies. The words, images, and ideas presented in the forms of art consumed, indirectly shape teens into the human beings they will become.

Art can teach, challenge, and inspire students to be more creative, compassionate, and open-minded human beings. Knowing that others are like minded helps make the human experience more universal.

Media serves as a catalyst for self-reflection. Diving deeper into a character enables one to better evaluate behaviors and become more self-aware.

In English classes, the novels read aren’t just to evaluate our reading skills, but to further the perspective on the feelings and experiences of others. Some connect with characters because they’re relatable, and some are influential because students have spent time in their worlds through the pages of their stories. These connections change readers as they are exposed to new standpoints on certain topics.

Writers, musicians, and filmmakers are our guides to better understanding the world and those who inhabit it. Each individual brings their own interpretation to the media they consume and experiences it in their own unique way.

Media enriches the lives of students and they benefit greatly from the connections they make to the art they experience during their developing years. 

“When we study film, we think about not just the entertainment value of film but why it’s entertaining and why we like it. We understand that every part of a production is chosen with the deliberate intention that is designed to make us see and feel things. When we start to question what a film is supposed to be making us feel, it makes us more critical members of society,” said Desmond. 🔳