Adults: Here’s Why We are Lost
Nutella is my life but so are self-worth issues. In today’s society, maturity has taken on a new meaning, along with the definition of happiness. Schools are attacking the crisis of lack of sleep due to the overabundance of work that’s piled on to our after school schedules, but other issues are handled incorrectly. Mental instability and out-right confusion is created through our “American-dream” of a system.
I just received a well-versed lecture from my parents consulting me about my future and how my proactivity needs to increase as to insure a spot for me in society. College this, college that. In fact, when students enter high school doors, at the extremely ignorant age of 14, they are versed to care about our image more than anything. “Colleges want to see all As”, at the same time, we are told, they also want to see a long list of extra-curriculars that demonstrate your potential as a valuable, productive, and unique person in “the real world”. Students are told that we must invest 99% of our time in school and another 15% in hyping up our appearance on a college application.
Think of an after school bake sale. In the school which I attend, every club (which by the way, most members only join to put on their resumes), has at least one of these sweet-sales each year; you earn about $50 to buy club T-shirts or to donate to the wildlife foundation or something. Like any high-achiever, I’ve ran a few bake sales, which isn’t so hard, but it definitely shows leadership qualities, which as we all know, looks great on a college application. Taking on this miniscule responsibility, I baked sugar cookies. I used a cookie-cutter to fit to cut out each cookie into a perfect circle, this way they looked store-bought and in turn more desirable.
This is where society is failing us. As teenagers, we are put into this archetype of perfection that no person can live up. Perfect circles are not attainable, yet adults try to cut their children out, they ask us to fit this superiority and ideal mold. They want us to look good on a shelf, so we can be sold, immediately, to a passerby. However, even if the dented cookie goes last, it will still end up in the hands of a consumer, because the fact is, the treat is just as sweet. Teenagers experiment with who they are because they are trying to figure out how they can wiggle in and conform into the mold.
At the moment, my friend circle is rather oval in shape. Most people are only there to ask favors of me or to disrespect me. It’s hard to discover people you can trust, especially when all your time is spent worrying about report cards and boyfriends. Euphoric laughter of kids with sex on their mind and marijuana in their lungs fills the hallway. Teenagers often trade that happiness for future happiness because, at least for me, I can’t imagine being the person to inflict this mold on children. It seems to me that the ones who focus less on their future are at least following a clear path, even if it’s winding, while I’m drifting on the side of the road, edging deeper and deeper into the forest.
You start to feel alone and petrified because life seems boring and worthless. You start to doubt your body, your mind, your personality, as friends, family, and standards deem you as a failure.
So, I ask this of parents, and teachers, and administrator: Understand that as teenagers we live in a world of disorientation and bewilderment of our futures. You ask us to fit this one shape, which damages our self-worth. I understand you mean well, and you just want us to live protective and fulfilling lives, but if you are going to throw this mold at us, first give us time. Let us do nothing on a Saturday to discover videos of people playing the guitar, which we may end up perusing or allow us to obsess over a broken heart, because a bruise needs time to heal. Most of all, give us time to figure out who we are before we make a commitment. At the end of the day, we will all make the cut for the bake sale: How about this, we’ll supply the ingredients and tools and we’ll supply the effort? Trust me, we’re trying.