Do We Know Why? | Teen Ink

Do We Know Why? MAG

By Anonymous

High school students are plunged into extracurricular activities, jobs, and valuable educational experiences as well as their studies. We are preparing for our futures as doctors, members of Congress, perhaps even the next Bill Gates or Martha Stewart. And the most important thing in our lives is the steppingstone known as college.

Around that steppingstone, we plan our existence. Many of us become studious, athletic or charitable on command, running to any activity that might look good on a college application. We’re the best of citizens, organizing events to raise money for breast cancer and helping to save the world one beach cleanup at a time. And we always have our dream college on our mind, which will lead to our dream job, which will in turn bring us great happiness and excellent salaries.

Isn’t it terrific that we’re so goal-driven? You might think so until you see beneath this veneer of focused young adults. We are really at a loss as to what to do - we continue because we don’t know how to turn back. And if we ever have the urge to deviate even slightly from the correct path, we are prodded and poked until we return. Our wise elders know what is best for us.

Sometimes we fight because we have an inkling that we might know ourselves better. We find enjoyment not from playing a sport every day but from writing in a journal, watching a terrible movie, or perhaps walking the cat. When this is discovered, we’re ridiculed and slapped back into place. And with the most judicious of threats! If we don’t follow our parents’ command, we’ll have to pay for college ourselves. If we don’t obey the wisdom of those who have lived life already, we are ignorant ingrates headed for failure.

We are blessed with more than caring parents and mentors. We have our hearts and our souls, not just some mold to fill. Students: take care to know the why of your lives. We are better than mindless automata.

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This article has 11 comments.

on Apr. 16 2014 at 12:45 pm
izzy_0314 BRONZE, Hartland, Wisconsin
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
Real bands save fans, real fans save bands. -Michael Clifford

This is so true because I feel like everything I do is reflected onto my college application, which is so not true. It irritates me when people only do things for the credit and then there's not enough room for the others that actually enjoy the activity. Great article!

Educators said...
on Sep. 30 2013 at 1:36 am
The site is really amazing

rheame said...
on Sep. 10 2013 at 7:05 am
rheame, Anand, Other
0 articles 0 photos 64 comments

Favorite Quote:
turn a mess into a lesson

a test into testimony

a trial into triumph
and a victim into champion

superb! i really agree with you completely!! great! :)

SFeathery said...
on May. 5 2013 at 3:34 pm
I agree. Call me petty, maybe, but I get so annoyed when my friend joins the same clubs as I even though SHE'S only doing it for the credit. I'll actually enjoy the activity, but we still get the same status on the application. Then she complains about it, and I ask her why shes still doing it, and she just gives me some stupid answer about how "she never said she hated math team/debate team/etc" It ticks me off sooooo much... :/

on Mar. 26 2013 at 5:26 pm
iWriteForFood SILVER, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
9 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Logic will get you from point A to point B. Imagination will take you everywhere." ~Albert Einstein

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Ralph Waldo Emerson

So true! It seems like everyone's always telling me to take this class or join this club because it will look good or help me in college. Great article!

on Jul. 29 2011 at 9:04 am
emilybwrites SILVER, Villa Hills, Kentucky
5 articles 0 photos 112 comments

Favorite Quote:
last night i lay in bed, looking up at the stars and i thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling?

so true that really opened my eyes. i completely agree. great article

on Jul. 7 2011 at 11:26 am
kitkat1336 BRONZE, Port Washington, Wisconsin
2 articles 0 photos 4 comments
Very very true. People want us to do what they could not in their years. High school did the same. Thank you for your words of wisdom, I enjoyed reading your article. :)

on Jun. 15 2011 at 1:35 pm

i didn't read the article but i think i liked it from what i read and i hope that this passage is better as i go on.  but like i said i have't read it and i want to read it and.......... i only read the comment on what the poeple had put on there.  thank you.


JoannaBanana said...
on Mar. 10 2011 at 6:55 pm
This is very poignant for me too. My school is extremely goal-driven and competitive, and as a result it has lost almost all its spirit. My friends in my honors/AP courses are working toward college in every way humanly possible. They join every club available for the extra lines on apps, and the clubs have become a joke because of that prevailing attitude. Not to mention, they often sleep about 4-6 hours a day. It's sick what's happening to schools. Clearly, it's not just mine. Not everyone can get into Harvard, and people have to start accepting that it's impossible for everyone to be the best.

on Apr. 1 2010 at 8:17 pm
obscurexclearly BRONZE, Tulsa, Oklahoma
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
'You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.' - Ray Bradbury

This is an article that hits extremely clost to home for me. Nearly every day, I am told that I need to broaden my range, because colleges will then look at me and say, "Well, she's social, and diverse, and has time to do all of this extra activities even is she is in the IB Program!" (Note: not in IB Program yet, but will be shortly!) Just because Key Club might look good, I don't want to be in it. Just because sports might get colleges interested, I'm sure not. America has high standards for students, with good reason, but sometimes, these standards are pushed too far, especially when they force me to do something I hate. I enjoy my activities, though they may be few. Great article!

Eagle said...
on Feb. 1 2009 at 6:38 am
I agree with you entirely. Some of my friends, including me, are so hypnotized by this thing called college that everything they do is for college. Why join club B? Because it differs from club A and variety looks good on college transcript. Why audition for honors chorus when you know you are not good? Because there's a slight chance that I can get in and if I do then it looks VERY good on the transcript. What? About to quit Club C but changed your mind? Why? Oh, the adviser chose me to be the president so I stayed. It looks good on transcript.

I think this is a very sick phenomenon.