Fresh green leaves were already dying, drying into yellow wrinkles: my precious free days were disappearing quickly. It was a terrible moment to realize the lazy days were over, overwhelming, really. Seeking guidance for the upcoming school year, I turned to the friendly Google. But my friend was not so helpful that day.
Soothing advice was not to be found; harsh lectures and long rantings about the dreadful halls smacked the screen instead. Eventually I happened across a small article, tucked away in a corner of the huge “net”. So powerful an effect it had on me that I could not possibly allow it to escape your attention: “Right now most of you feel your job in life is to be a promising college applicant. But that means you’re designing your life to satisfy a process so mindless that there’s a whole industry devoted to subverting it. By putting you in this situation, society has fouled you.
Yes, as you suspect, a lot of the stuff you learn in your classes is crap. And yes, as you suspect, the college admissions process is largely a charade. But like many fouls, this one was unintentional. So just keep playing.” Could it be true? “Your job in life is to be a promising college applicant” Yes, it must be, for the words stung with raw accuracy.
That sentence alone struck a match against my skull. All previous thoughts, goals, dreams, feelings, everything associated with the upcoming year, were burned. I thought; I must become the perfect college applicant! And then freshman year commenced. But then sophomore year was a week away. I was shot into a similar tizzy when I saw my calendar: a meager eight days remained.
Suddenly I remembered the article! I found it again, calmed instantly by its familiar appearance, and looked across the same letters that had touched me so the year before. Yet, as I read the article again it seemed to whisper a different message. As the same sentence fell through my eyes to my brain I no longer felt its soothing effects. No, now the words had changed their meaning without warning. They no longer radiated inspiration; they taunted me,commanding my heart to pull away! They urged rebellion! Now the paragraph read: Hey You, Remember the constant studying, the memorizing useless facts, meaningless dates and definitions, all so you could get an A in ink? Remember waking up at 5, going to bed at 1 and working constantly in between? You didn’t harbor interest in your classes, did you? No, you merely endured them. You weren’t even interested in creating yourself, becoming the person you wanted to be.
You locked yourself away, scratching pencils against paper mindlessly. You fool! You tried to become what colleges wanted you to be. Of course you said it was normal, all teens were doing it. Although everyone at your school had endless energy, curiosity, even support from loving parents, none of them pursued what they loved. Your prime was wasted in zombie land as you completed meaningless work.
You felt comfort knowing those who rebelled always suffered consequences; any attempt to pursue a passion was rewarded with an F in the classroom. You, you who had access to one of the most creative, intelligent, and powerful minds, allowed yourself to be restricted by your school. Can you wish this kind of education upon generations to come? No. You knew why your classmates had such burning desires to grow up. To escape school. You knew why now, more than ever, kids turned to drugs.
To forget school. You knew why kids were texting during class. To ignore school. YOU KNEW that those kids, those kids who were scorned by adults, were really just trying to revolt against modern education. They sought freedom, happiness.
So you must be strong. You and I both know that generations will suffer greatly if children, the future of the world, are restricted from reaching their full potential. No one should be required to meet such broad and general standards, sacrificing happiness, just to fill an application. Education needs to change. You will make a difference. As I peer into the world I can finally see the strong green leaves have not weakened, nor withered.
Now, today, they turn golden.