High school was the time that some people spent relaxing before they had to become a legal adult. They tried drugs, partied, dismissed work assignments, skipped class. As strangers sometimes tell me: you’re supposed to be having the time of your LIFE!
I cannot relate to the above. I always try to pass the toughest classes, study in libraries and type out the typical five or ten page high school report. Now, a few days from starting my senior year, I have one page reports and quotes with personal comments to turn in for a major summer project grade. I don’t know if this a small break before the harder assignments, or if this is actually a challenge to write a Pulitzer prize winner in 3-5 paragraphs. Probably, it’s the latter. Either way, it has me thinking about all the work I’ve put in over the years and for what reason.
I could say it’s my curiosity or obsession with knowledge. But, if I’m honest, I can reflect on a competitive drive and fear of losing my rank and GPA. This is what’s probably happening to a bunch of kids around the U.S. They all want to get into good colleges, but they can’t fork over $20,000 or $30,000 a year for their education. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that we’re working hard in school, but it can be a problem when a desire for success and status outweigh everything else in your life.
I’ve seen people sign up for EVERY club available in order to “improve” their college applications. I’ve seen kids whose parents pluck them out of extracurriculars so they focus on career-related high schools. Kids cry over rankings, fight over rankings, even cheat to meet a certain rank number. They stress out about getting into the BEST school possible (which they think only means “anything ivy”) and forget to enjoy their youth.
I’m not saying abandon your studies completely and only chill-lax. The FREE education we’re receiving should be taken advantage of. I’m saying that, as a high school teen who has experienced and seen school today, the worry over meeting this successful student image to get into a dream college isn’t healthy. We should be encouraged to enjoy life through our hobbies or sports, take a break, and remember that even if you don’t get into Yale and become the President of the United States, you haven’t failed. There is no losing in life. It’s more complex than that. As long as we do what we love and try our hardest, the happiness that follows makes us successful.