I find it bizarre that we as students have been brainwashed, deceived, and manipulated into believing that without a 4.4 GPA and Harvard acceptance letter, we will amount to nothing more in this life than hobos collecting recyclables on University Avenue. A few weeks ago as I walked by my old elementary school, my eyes burned at the sight of the Yale, Harvard, and Princeton college memorabilia attached to the classroom windows. Can someone please explain why teachers, the school district, and society in general is breeding seven-year-olds to believe that the only way to find happiness in life is to cure cancer? These poor kids should be playing tetherball and eating glue, completely blissful and ignorant to the world of collegiate pressures.
The sad truth is that this intolerable mentality has been implanted into students from such a young age that college aspirations and immaculate GPA’s have become an undeniable aspiration. So this is my editorial remonstrance to the adult world of education, or in other words, a big “screw you” for stealing our childhood, sanity, and a malicious attempt at our morality. Unfortunately, we live in a world where Charlie Sheen is better known than our local fire department, children grow up wanting to become rich instead of astronauts, and cheating on tests is viewed as a necessary evil in order to achieve some insatiable hunger for perfect grades. Yet, what I’ve come to realize is this: when life gets stressful enough that you force yourself to compromise your own morals and happiness just to attain that 90.00 percent, then you’ve morally already lost more than you could have ever gained from some perfect fridge-worthy report card. One thing I know for sure is that life is not measured through your flawless GPA and thousands of hours of community service you gritted your teeth through just so you could appear “well rounded” on the Common App.
Having truly lived is measured through all the irreplaceable relationships you’ve created, even all the times you’ve struck out and failed, but most importantly, all the times you’ve picked yourself back up again and realized that your will to keep trying was still greater than all the opposition against you. I may be only seventeen, and completely clueless of the real world, but all I know is that when I’m 80 I’m not going to want to look back on the best years of my life and realize I spent it quarantined in my room studying APEL. I’m going to want to look back on it and laugh with a nostalgic poignancy because I will have realized I took every chance, every opportunity, and everyday knowing that I had truly lived.