means nothing

This badge,

means nothing to them.

This title,

means nothing to them.

This work,

means nothing to them.

This happiness,

means nothing to them.

This sadness,

means nothing to them.

These thoughts,

mean nothing to them.

But this slip of paper at the end of each semester,

means everything to them.

means nothing

 

As my days are getting tougher with academics, my parents forget I’m more than a machine; more than a number pumping out grades. I’m a human being with needs and goals and other achievements. Getting an A does not satisfy all needs and expectations. Getting an A clearly does not mean that I’m “winning” at life. At times it seems as though my parents think this ideal grade is totally achievable if I just show up, do homework, and study a little…but it’s not.

So many things play into grades. Right now I feel as though my mental health is deteriorating and it’s beginning to affect my physical health. I can’t do anything properly anymore and the most basic functions are lost at the grasps of my fingertips. I don’t even comprehend my own writing.

I want my parents to know that I’m not going to be perfect. If I can’t get an A in every subject, oh well! Why do we treat grades like they’ll affect us for the rest of our lives? We make it seem as though this will brand us forever. That everything we do revolves around the black ink printed on a half sheet of paper at the end of the semester. There is so much pressure. Too much pressure. I feel like I’m pushed against a wall— cornered with no space and barely breathing. It takes so much effort now I can’t handle it.

I want everything to just fade. I want to fade. I want to disappear and not feel any of this pressure anymore. And I don’t think I’m the only one. There are so many students, too many students, who feel the same pressure as I do. In biology we talk about epigenetic tags and how those will alter your DNA based on what you do in your lifetime and those tags will be expressed in your offspring.

What will this pressure do to us? To our future generations?

Why is it that we push for this unreachable perfection from students? At 16 am I suppose to feel this stress? Am I suppose to feel like I don’t want to go to school anymore or that I can’t hang out with friends anymore or that my grades will affect my overall being?

Since when were letters suppose to affect my well-being? Since when was I suppose to be stressed because of letters? The last time I was stressed because of letters was probably kindergarten, when I couldn’t spell them and now I’m stressed again because I can’t get them.

Why are pushing all this pressure on kids? I don’t even see a way that we’ll be able to pull back. Nowadays we want smarter, better, critical-thinking kids who work hella hard for their grade. We want kids who will sacrifice their social life for the hopes of a “good future.”

I think…we want too much.

We no longer focus on skills and creativity, but grades and certificates and points. We push for excellence in things like test-taking. After high school and college are we ever going to take another academic test again? Why not take all the time we spend prepping for grades and “how to pass the SAT” and put it into something useful and beautiful? Like our talents.

I agree, we need to be educated. We should all be on some equal intellectual aspect, but past that, can we specialize? Can we specialize before college? Can we begin exploring not when we have to declare a major but when we’re in middle school or high school? Yes, we have clubs, sports, youth groups, ROP classes, etc. but there should be more. Instead of taking art as an elective, why not focus most of your classes around art?

Colleges keep looking for a balance— a “well-rounded” student, but I think in the process of creating your so-called “well-rounded” student, you shave away their creativity and soul and passion. You’re left with a student that fits your mold, not the unique one they came with.

My friend is an artist. She creates so naturally it makes me jealous. She draws and shapes so majestically; she’s fated with colored pencils and come clay. But here’s the thing. She can’t take the art classes she wants, because that’s not what a pediatrician should be taking. She should be piling on science classes and child development classes, and in the end, she’s left with nothing. There’s no room for her to take the classes she enjoys.

Where are we going with education, students?

Where are we going with education, parents?

Where are we going with education, teachers?

Where are we going with education, College Board?

Honestly, this all just means nothing.

 

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6 thoughts on “means nothing

  1. O, Youth: Do you know that yours is not the first generation to yearn for a life full of beauty and freedom? Do you know that all your ancestors have felt the same as you do — and fell victim to trouble and hatred? Do you know also that your fervent wishes can only find fulfillment if you succeed in attaining love and understanding of people, and animals, and plants, and stars, so that every joy becomes your joy and every pain your pain?
    Albert Einstein

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  2. Reblogged this on Martians and Skeletons and commented:
    This amazing post was written by my friend Katrya. With the talented and beautiful writing skills she posses, she is able to express true struggles many of us teens have.This amazing post was written by my friend Katrya. With the talented and beautiful writing skills she possesses, she is able to express true struggles many of us teens have. It needs to be acknowledged by many parents that we students can’t get straight A’s without sacrificing their mental and even physical health. They need to understand, how are these grades really going to affect our own well- being in the future. Parents, none of us are happy right now, do you want us to continue this way to get good grades? Fellow students, take a stand, we can make a change. It needs to be acknowledged by many parents that we students can’t get straight A’s without sacrificing their mental and even physical health. They need to think, how are these grades really going to affect our own well- being in the future. None of us are happy right now, do you want us to continue this way to get good grades?

    Like

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