weird bird

It’s Okay to be Weird

High School Can be Weird

High School is a weird time. In high school, we deal with the pressure to fit in, to be good at sports – or to be good at something, to get good grades, and to have fun. On top of that, we’re expected to act like adults, with a lot of the responsibilities of adults, but none of the benefits of being an adult. Maybe we even deal with heartbreak or our sexual identity in high school. That’s a lot. High school is one of the busiest times of our lives.

These are hard things to address because they are so abstract. There’s no real solution because there’s no real problem in such that there’s nothing wrong with going through these events or feeling these pressures. However, these pressures have an emotional weight, an emotional tax. So, how do we lift that weight, get a break for that tax?

Managing Our Stress

One way we manage these stressors at Maharishi School is by practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique. The TM technique is an easy way to relieve stress. There’s a lot of research about the health benefits of reducing stress through the TM technique. Read more about that on

Though the TM technique is backed by years of research and countless stories of the relief and aid it provides, it also can seem a bit weird. From the outside, people who practice the TM technique can seem like they are just a little different. Until recent years, it was a subculture with roots in India and connections to Holland with a hub here in Fairfield, Iowa. It was a hard thing to explain, and still can be, but people are more familiar and accepting of the Transcendental Meditation technique.

TM Might Make You Weird, but That’s a Good Thing

One of our alumna, Jennie Rothenberg, came back to speak at graduation last year. In her speech, she addressed feeling weird, or having the experience of having to explain growing up in this meditating community for the rest of our lives, actually might be a positive experience. Maybe it always hasn’t been so, but now it is a good way to set ourselves apart from the rest of the crowd, the rest of the job applicants, the rest of the people running for public office, the people applying for that scholarship, and so on. Watch the video to hear Jennie’s speech.

Another benefit of practicing the TM technique, though arguable less measurable, is learning that it is okay to be weird. It is okay to stand out. It is okay to be “the only one” in a crowd. Though we have a supportive and close community, eventually we leave this nest to experience different parts of the world, maybe even different cultures. However, something we will always have is our de-stressor, our weirdness, our ability to stand out, and our inner stillness – Transcendental Meditation.

So go ahead. It’s okay to be weird.

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Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
Fairfield, IA 52556