The Same Road

“Did you do anything fun over break?”
–“I mostly stayed at home and studied. I had to read and answer questions for an entire chapter of history, and I also finished two projects.”

“So, how was your weekend?”
–“It was alright. I’ve been studying and doing homework so far…”

“Thanks for coming to my birthday bonfire today guys! I hope you all had a fun time. What are you guys gonna do after you get home?”
–“I’m gonna get back to homework.”
–“Yeah, I have to study for the AP Euro test.”
–“Me too…”
–“Same. When I get home I’m gonna work on my project, too. It’s due on Monday.”

If you think about it, Dorothy wouldn’t have had an adventure if she had stayed on the yellow brick roadsunbeam-1031201_1920

For some reason, teenagers are having a lot less fun in high school. We have less fun, less time, less freedom, but more stress, more worries, and more work. Being a teenager is supposed to be one of the most memorable times of a person’s life, but why do I feel like I want the years to go by quicker?

“Youth is wasted on the young.”-George Bernard Shaw

I’m sixteen right now, and I imagined it to be a super fun time. Instead, most of my friends and I stay inside all week to do homework. You would expect a teenager who stays up all night to be partying, but instead they were either finishing homework or preparing for a test the next day. We’re so busy to the point that my chemistry teacher makes our homework assignment: “Have fun over break and tell your story to the class when we get back.” Very few teachers notice the problem that we students are facing. (This is why I really appreciate the teachers who ask the students when a good time the assignment should be do or those who measure the workload they give us.)

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Very few parents notice either. They still think as if the amount of work we have is the same as when they were high school students. However, the amount of work has increased dramatically. Because our academic privileges have increased, our generation has been offered AP classes and more extracurriculars. Most parents find these opportunities and sign their kids up for so many activities that they have no time to hang out–only time to study in their free time. (Of course, we feel grateful for all these opportunities, but we should have a choice in what we want to do.) Some parents encourage their kids to take so many advanced classes with so much work. Because the amount of work we’re given is so great that we only retain the information for a short time until the test, or until the AP exam. All that time studying, and it goes right out the window.

“What a weary time those years were — to have the desire and the need to live but not the ability.”- Charles Bukowski

I really want to hang out on weekends or Friday nights, but the only answer I can give is: Sorry, I can’t. I have to study…  But I’m not the only person who has this problem. The majority of my friends want to hang out too but we can never find a time because of all the schoolwork and projects that we’re given. We mostly only see each other on the weekends to work on projects. But even if I hang out over the weekend, I still think: I should really be studying right now. What if I don’t have enough time to finish my project? What if I don’t have time to study?

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Our youth should be treasured and valued more. It’s a special time being a teenager, and there is no way to go back and experience it again. This should be a time of freedom, fun, and adventure, not stress, boredom, and restriction. Instead of telling people I spent my weekend studying, I want to tell them that I actually had fun hanging out with friends/hiking/going to the beach. But right now, it’s sad how we are not able to cherish our time. It’s sad how our dreams are lost in homework. It’s sad how we are staying on the yellow brick road.

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~Tam

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5 Responses to The Same Road

  1. Which chemistry teacher is this? I’m going to buy them ice cream next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Re:Framed and commented:
    So teens have a choice. They can be great at school and go to “the right colleges” or they can have a life. This post talks about what it’s like to chose the first choice and asks some important questions about school.

    Liked by 1 person

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