by Cori Hilsgen
Cathedral High School junior Amber Klein says students face incredible stress at the high school level because they are constantly being put under pressure by teachers, parents and others to be the best they can be.
One way she tries to help reduce stress for others is to stand up to bullies when she sees someone else is being bullied. Klein herself was bullied when she was younger, between fourth and sixth grades.
She said she told her parents right away and they talked to the teacher and the other students’ parents. Klein said she didn’t really understand why it was happening. She thought she had been nice to everyone and tried not to do anything to make other people so mad they would make fun of her.
“I was the type of kid, and still am, to not let it bother me for too long,” Klein said. “I got a few nasty messages, shed a few tears (and) showed them to my mom and then it was kind of done.”
One thing she was bullied about was wearing her shirt a certain way. Klein said she purposely wore it the same way after that. She said she chose not to let others know if it bothered her and always stood up for herself and others. She thinks this may be why she was a bigger target than some of the other students.
Klein said once the teacher and the students were informed of the problem, the other students who were bullying her backed off for a while, but there was still the same tension and comments here and there.
“To this day, I don’t take flattery well because I find it hard to tell if people are serious or just making fun of me,” she said.
Klein said she is not afraid to stand up for others and be the target of bullies instead of letting others get teased.
“I don’t want people to go through what I went through,” Klein said. ” It’s not fun and I don’t want kids to go through that when they are already having enough trouble with growing up, puberty and who knows what else. It’s hard to be the victim. Luckily I had enough courage to stand up for myself.”
Klein said since that period of time, the person bullying her and she have both matured and all is forgiven.
She has learned to cope with stress by winding down and curling up to read a good book or listen to music.
“I’m a big reader and it helps because it takes you out of reality for a while,” she said. “Music is the same way. I’m also a sucker for chocolate, so whenever I have a good chocolate bar laying around that always gets eaten when I’m stressed.”
Klein is the 17-year-old daughter of Brian and Denise Klein. She has two brothers – Jared, 14, and Colin, 10.
Fun Facts about Klein:
Favorite subject: English
“I am good at it and enjoy writing,” Klein said.
Activities she’s involved with:
Klein enjoys playing sports, especially soccer, hockey and softball.
Favorite leisure activity:
“I like to read books, hang out with friends, play sports or read some more,” she said.
Favorite movie: Miracle
“It’s a hockey movie and it’s a great story and really inspiring,” Klein said.
“I like all kinds of music,” she said. “I don’t have a specific genre I like better than others, but my favorite artists are Queen and Maroon 5.”
Favorite restaurant: Applebees
“They have the best wings, in my opinion,” Klein said. “Or Buffalo Wild Wings because they have great wings as well.”
Chocolate or guacamole
Favorite thing she likes to help other people do:
“In school, I like to help other people with writing papers,” she said. “I also like to help kids learn how to play sports and learn the game.”
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
One of the hardest obstacles she’s had to overcome in the school environment: People
“People are hard to deal with because not one person is the exact same as you, so you have to learn to adjust and adapt to others, and you must learn to get along and work well together in order to create a healthy environment for not only yourself but for others as well,” Klein said.
One of the biggest challenges that students face today: Stress
“Students are being constantly put under pressure by teachers, parents, coaches and other students to be the best they can be and it can really put a lot of stress on someone who is struggling,” Klein said. “I think in high school stress is more of a challenge than bullying or fitting in.”
Favorite technology device: iPhone or laptop
Does she like using technology at school? Yes and no
“It’s really nice because we don’t have to carry our books around, so our load is much lighter,” Klein said. “But at the same time, I don’t always like using my laptop as a textbook. My eyes get sore and sometimes it’s just easier when you have to be flipping from the glossary to the review questions, to actually flip the pages in a real textbook. It’s very convenient, though, when you need to get ahold of teachers or turn something in when they’re not at school. All you have to do is shoot them an email and ‘bam’ all done. Overall, I think it’s more of a benefit to students when you compare pros and cons.”
What she wants to do when she graduates:
“I want to go to college for sure,” she said. “I want to graduate college as well, but what I want to be, study, major or minor in is still undecided. I am leaning towards journalism, though.”
What she would like to be doing five years from now:
“I want to be successful in five years,” Klein said. “I am not sure what I’ll be doing in five years, but whatever it is, I’m going to be successful at it.”
If you won a large amount of money, would you keep or donate it? If you chose to donate it, where would you donate it?
“I would do half and half,” she said. “I would donate half of it to cancer research and the other half to a foundation like Make a Wish that helps children who are suffering from disease or illness. I would love to know my donation helped make a sick child happy even if it was only for a little while.”
Her best experiences in St. Joseph:
“I love the festivals we hold here in St. Joe,” she said. “My favorites include the Millstream Arts Festival and, of course, Joe Town Rocks. I think both bring us together as a community and show others St. Joe is a great place to be. They are both always fun, and I have lots of memories that were made at these events.”
The thing she likes best about St. Joseph:
“I love the town,” Klein said. “It’s a great place to live because it’s safe, friendly, and there’s just enough shops and stores to save you from multiple trips into St. Cloud. I feel safe here no matter what part of St. Joe I’m in.