Shane Morehead on Struggling with Motivation and Fighting Society

Many people may know Shane for his humor and his out-going personality. Or maybe some have only seen him in passing in the hallways. Never the matter, it’s perhaps time for everyone to get acquainted with his mind-set and views on society. I have reason to believe that not many will be disappointed.

Madison Vines, Staff Writer

Shane Morehead is a tree. Seriously, he’s an actual tree with branches, living in an actual forest with the rest of us actual trees. He’s been through various types of dangerous weather, threatening humans, harmful insects, and so much more like the rest of us have. Still yet, while he and I are at the start of our conversation, he seems nearly completely unaltered by all of the damage the world has wreaked against him. I ask about it, why this is and how he gets through every day, and he informs me of his belief in the fact that we’re all the same. Every supposed individual is just another piece of the puzzle – another tree in the forest. 

“No one is truly an individual,” he elaborates after taking quick notice of my confusion. “We’re shaped by our experiences.” 

M. Vines

I didn’t quite understand Shane up until that point, really. I only knew that he was an open sort of individual and that the majority of his views on the world are dark. While they do sound cynical, however, he’s also right. We are, in fact, all put on this earth for the same reason, but the events that we go through and how we handle them shape us and provide us with the ability to differentiate ourselves from one another. I mean, when we are born, knowledge is nearly non-existent, but it comes to us as we grow. Still yet, none of us learn the same things, and if we do, we aren’t taught in the same way with the same exact detailing. Besides, no two people interpret a situation the same, ergo we learn from them based on our own perceptions.

In the 17 years that he has been alive, Shane’s come to know this from his own personal experiences having shaped him into the open, passionate, and hard-working but slightly flawed student that he is today. 

Back when he lived in Massachusetts, his inability to find motivation came to focus in the third grade. There was a teacher that used to yell at him for having so much difficulty, and that only made things worse for him. Luckily, he moved to Georgia not long after that experience, and by the time he was in the fifth grade, things were different. While he still struggled for the same reasons, he also met a teacher that helped push him towards getting his work done without raising her voice. After telling me the short story, he continued on to admit that it was hard for him to suddenly have to do his work, but also that the overall happenstance helped a great deal and ended up leaving a positive impact on him. 

Still, motivation continues to be a persistent problem for Shane, and he believes it has been even worse for him here lately with all of the pressures of senior year. The issue has even caused another: procrastination. In order for Shane to be able to get something finished on time, he has to be passionate about it. Economics is an example of a class that he was passionate about while taking it last year. He breezed through it because he found it important and enjoyed learning new ways to make himself more useful for work and to see the world. Math, on the other hand, is another story. He finds the entire subject repetitive and never puts much effort forward. 

“Present Shane really hates future Shane.” He sighs, and that was more than understandable. Doesn’t every high school student feel relatively similar? Sure, that’s very possible. Shane, however, really doesn’t seem very pleased with the fact that some of the work he does leaves him feeling as if there are better things he could be doing with his time and that his lack of motivation only seems to make it worse. For this reason and more than likely many more—such as the fact that he wants to be remembered in a positive manner—he prefers to get his work done by himself and on his own schedule.

“If [someone] tells me I did something wrong, I feel like I can’t do it at all.” He continues on to then jokingly tell me that he usually ends up crying if this ever happens, and we both kind of laugh together. I truly do find it funny though. Before I had the chance to actually sit down and speak with Shane Morehead, he seemed almost to be the type of person with the courage and ability to do anything he set his mind to without ever worrying about the way society handles him. My first full day at Heritage, he had already made a lasting impression on me that said he had to most definitely be a bold and open individual. I had never encountered anyone else that could so effortlessly shout the Pledge of Allegiance like it’s nothing and share his input when it felt most needed. On top of that, Shane was also notably making the other people in the classroom laugh with about every word that he spoke. I am highly surprised to now know the way his mind works and his personal view of the world: that society is wrong and harmful. However, as morbid as it may sound, it is safe to say that he at least takes his negative experiences and does what he can to turn them into positive, helpful outtakes. 

M. Vines

One of the many positive effects of his negative experiences is Shane’s clear passion for Journalism. Nearing the end of our conversation, he explains that Journalism was something he had originally signed up for at the end of middle school and started at the beginning of his freshman year. Now a senior, he claims, “[Journalism] has really shaped me as a person in every aspect of my life.” It has helped him become confident in his ability to make others laugh, has pushed him outside of his comfort zone and into Photoshop, and has heightened his reputation at the school overall. 

Despite his passion, when I ask him about college, he reveals that he actually has the intent to study something in the film industry. He’s obviously passionate about that as well and gushes over the fact that he has a script-writing class next semester that he cannot wait for. His original plan had been to go to college for Journalism, but he doesn’t think he can anymore because it’s a dying art. He believes that society is killing the need for genuine journalism and that jobs are both limited and steadily declining because “people are reading headlines, but they’re not reading stories.” No one is as involved with or as passionate about the things in which they should be, according to Shane, and he briefly mentions the decline of journalism being due to technology stealing away the importance and need of reading a newspaper and that people are being deprived of reason to use truthfully written text.

After speaking with Shane, I truly know not to judge a book by its cover, that it’s true that not a single soul knows what a story may be like until they open up the pages and peek inside. In just one simple conversation, Shane went from another tree in the forest to a book with meaningful words written within. His idea about everything (“a perfect world would be very different from this one”) all sound pretty dark upon first hearing them, but that’s without looking into them, without opening them up. After some listening and chatting, I believe that his takes on the world are actually rather positive, just typically stimulated from negative experiences. 

Shane doesn’t believe that he should let society’s views hold him back in life any and rather lives the best way that he can. He knows that we’re all going to die in the long run, but that inevitability doesn’t seem to strike any bit of fear in his heart, and he does what he pleases. Shane Morehead is completely himself in a world – or a forest – where everyone fights to be carbon copies of their perception of perfect. 

M. Vines