By Siani Ellis, 10th grade
As teenagers, our lives are anything but simple. At this age, school is no longer spelling quizzes and division worksheets. School has turned into a creativity-stifling, cutthroat environment that seems to be a cycle of standardized test after standardized test, with a Socratic Seminar in between to liven us up a little bit. On top of this atrocity, we are all plagued with stress over the uncertainty of our futures. We try so hard to get good grades now so we can succeed in the future, but living in the unknown truly scares us. Trusting your gut and letting your intuition lead you might sound like a great plan, but when we are already trying to find ourselves, not knowing where we will be in ten years is downright terrifying.
Then, we go home and see our parents. Our parents have worked tirelessly to ensure our wellbeing, making countless sacrifices in the process. And we appreciate this. But seeing them work day after day like mindless zombies, conforming to the itinerary that society has created for them: it makes us fearful. We wonder, “is this the life for which we’re destined?” We hear about all the aspirations and hopes they had when they were our age and we can’t help but see the vibrant child trapped behind the walls of adulthood. But then time moves on, and the moment passes, and that little ember, that seed of a dream, dies out. Life is vicious. It’s demanding. Life wants and it wants, and along with its friend, time, it takes away all the small, enchanting things with its friend, time.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you recall, life wasn’t always like this. We used to find the joy in every situation. Back in elementary school, it was the small things that mattered. Who liked who and what you were going to play at recess were crucial to everyday lives. We had to know everything and see everything. We wanted to be the best, but not for the sake of competition. Life- in its simplest terms- was fun. We knew who we were and we looked forward with hope.
I want to feel like that again. And I don’t ever want to lose that feeling. I want to pay attention to the smaller things in life. I want to make choices based on my gut, and let things go. I don’t want to let life pass me by, or realize that time has caught up with me and is laughing in my face. I want to unleash the child inside me and work with her instead of suffocating her.
There’s a quote from the band Blink-182 that has always stuck with me. When they say, “All the small things, true care, truth brings”, I used to wonder what they meant by ‘small things’ , but now I understand. When we begin to live deliberately, paying attention to all of the little things in life, we can began a path to self-discovery. We will have unlocked the part of us that has been incarcerated.
Join me in making a promise. We are the upcoming generation and soon, the world will fall into our hands like putty. If we all agree to take heed of the smaller things in life and entertain the elementary student hidden inside of us, then maybe we can truly break the curse of repetitive, boring lifestyles, and possibly free ourselves from the constraints of society. Let’s promise not to drown in our grey spectrums, and instead live life in vivid colors, with hope and passion. Together, we can cherish the small things and, in turn, see the bigger pictures in life.