Okay I need to rant. I don’t know if I should be blasting Queen or something… just to give my typing a rhythm ahaha. Okay so these past few years, going through school, teenager ‘stuff’ and just having all this pressure on you to be perfect, however anyone defines it is weighing up. It’s like everyone expects you to be something that you’re not and then you find yourself in a constant chase of this version of you that doesn’t exist! Hold on a tick, I need to get some music on. Springsteen’s Born to Run coming right up.
There’s this outdated mentality that working hard in school, or more getting good grades will get you into firstly, a good school and then university (assuming you can afford it) and then going to a good university will result in you getting a good job, and this is defined as ‘pays well’ or a job that ‘you want to do.’ But from high school, how do you even know what you want to do, when you haven’t even gotten out of your bubble that you call the world?! Like how the f*ck did we end up in this cycle.
If you don’t get what I’m talking about this is it: keep your head down in school, go to a good university and do a ‘good’ degree that will give you comfort and stability. Then get a job and work your way up. Wear the same damn clothes every day, but watch your facial expressions change to a state of blankness from doing the same ol’ thing every day and then watch the light in your eyes fade to the light of a computer screen. Meanwhile, get married, have kids and look, you have responsibilities! Your parents get to say, “this is what we had to deal with when you were younger,” the words recited generation to generation. Then you keep working and make money to support your family and skid a few decades and boom, you retire! Now you get to finally spend more time with your family and travel the world, something you “always wanted to do when you were younger.” And then before you know it, you’re 6 feet under. Just to clarify, this is the stereotype I am talking about.
This is the stereotype that seems to be the reality for so so many people. And whilst being able to choose what you want to do in life is a privilege, that doesn’t mean you have to choose what is only going to bring you material wealth and comfort. If you do something without the pure love for it, you’re never going to be fulfilled. There’s always going to be this empty feeling inside of you.
Now, what do I know about this? I don’t. I’m just an observer. A high school student who’s going to be graduating in a few months and it’s scaring the sh*t out of me, pardon my French- jks I meant that. A little bit about me. When I was in primary school, I was a really smart kid (sorry if it comes of as egotistical) and ended up getting a scholarship to the school I’m at, which is probably one of the best in the country. Okay Queen’s ‘don’t stop me now’ is playing, just a heads up. Daym this song smashes.
Okay so I’m at a good school and blah blah blah. All throughout primary school, my parents really pushed me to do well- I was in these coaching colleges at 11 (pretty late for most students who go to them, which is even more crazy!). It was always push push push- for your future, for what’s ahead. These things were pushed so hard, you could say these thoughts ‘pushed’ the thoughts, “what do I want my future to look like? What do I want to do.” In these places, they don’t teach you to think, they teach you how to get the best marks, how to circle bubbles (literally). Anyways, as a human being, these things disadvantage you in a way that paper will never show. And yes, to win the game, you’ve got to play the game, but I think that’s just it. People don’t know how to define the game, so they go for what looks good to others or for their family and yes living in a nice country, house, having food on the table every night is nice. But there is always going to be something worth more, so much more- that feeling of fulfillment that cannot be described with letters or numbers.
I ask you now, what does success look like to you? Dwell on it for a moment. Imagine you are living that reality.
*whilst I blast Kelsea Ballerini’s ‘needy.’ This song is what I called a starry eyed laxative. I love it so much! *
Now I’m not saying that you can’t have both. Like, if that is your reality or if that is what you are striving for, go you!!! You’re crushing it! One thing that we always have the opportunity to do is give, and if we have more, we have the opportunity to give more (in quantity, and quality depending on the sacrifice aha).
Back to my point, if I have one as this is a rant ahaha. Okay so there’s this misconceived perception that our value is thus calculable to what our academic status, wealth, job position, social status etc is. And how have we fallen for this for so many generations?! Like there’s so many stereotypes about all these routes that people go down. I feel terrible labelling them, because they’re just a front at times and so far from reality… so I won’t. You can do that :) I just did and ugh I need to dismantle so many of these misconceptions. Like they don’t equate to how good a friend you are, something we all need. They don’t define your true intelligence, your spirit, your resilience, your journey, who you are. We fall for such trivial ideals when you think about it. I now I have and continue to, and so must break this to be able to see the world differently and better.
If you’ve read to this point, wowowow thank you! I’m gonna take it upon me to rant more, about me- a tad selfish sozzies but like no one’s gonna read this anyway soooo. Okay so I started high school and as soon as I got there, my parents were like, now you have to keep your grades up to get into a good uni. Like what?! I just worked so hard to get here, and I don’t even get a breather? Now I don’t have any intentions of discrediting my parents. They are the most hard-working people who have really given everything they have to help others and I admire and respect that so much. And at the end of the day, they want what’s best for you. Physical comfort and security and being able to provide for a generation is really great, but that definition just seems to be built up by fear, in my opinion. Fear that their children won’t have this. When at the end of the day the things that truly matter are that you are happy and fulfilled and from that can give back. You’ve probably heard this before, but you can have all the wealth in the world, but you can never buy happiness. You cannot educate someone to be happy either. Now, onto me again lel, if you think getting good grades, and a scholarship made me happy? Hell yeah, for a minute. And then it’s what’s next. Plus everyone has this conception of who you are, that you can never change, so you fall into the reality of, what I said before, chasing after a life that is not your own. Are you happy? Hell no. I went to some really dark places from here, for another time though! It got to the point where fast track forward, I reached the genuine realisation and understanding that I needed to get to know this person that I knew close to nothing about- me. The feeling of weight that had been building up for years lifted and slowly but surely I went on one of those ‘self discovery’ journey things you could say, all whilst living in the same place, for my whole life, which is why I can’t wait to get out. Anyways, I went back to music, my greatest passion. I started learning at school, for the sake of learning and realized that I love learning so much. I gained an appreciation for school. The more educated you are, the more you can help others. I define true education as educating yourself and educating others from what you’ve learnt, whether it even just be through your actions. If you had all the knowledge in the world and did nothing with it, what a useless thing that would be! That’s why we must share what we learn with others.
Now with that being said, I don’t want to follow that route of formal education after school. I don’t want to go to university. I’m so privileged to the point that not going to university is more of a struggle than going to uni. I have no idea how to tell my parents. It’s going to kill them. I truly wish there was something that fascinated me enough to pay tens of thousands of dollars and study it for a few years, but nothing grasps me and for what I want to do, you don’t have to go to university to do it, in fact you can’t teach it. Half of me wishes I could just suck it up and ensure a bit of stability in my life, sacrifice a few years to have the option of getting a stable job, as a backup. But that would be backtracking in my head. At least where I’m up to in my current perspective. Like I’m already doing what makes me happiest and I feel so fulfilled. Every day I have a reason to get out of my bed and hopefully inspire people *fingers crossed* Regardless, that might change- who knows. But I think however you feel, based on your life experiences are valid, because that’s where your journey has taken you to in this moment. And so I know that I’ve gotta see this through. It’s going to be hard, materially, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t trade it for a thing. Future me remember this!
So in a nutshell, the rant was don’t conform to societies expired expectations, get to know yourself because it’s the greatest thing- only if you let it be though! And also just live. Live live live. However you define that. Challenge yourself every day. That’s how you grow, and as Lauryn Hill said, “anything that’s not growing is dead.” So there we go. Who do you want to be?