My little brother wants to learn five different instruments. He’s been begging my mom for weeks to find him somewhere to learn a new language. He’s played seven different sports in the last two years, and is still doing four. When I ask him about school, he loves it. He wants nothing more than to learn. Science fascinates him, and history makes him want to travel the world, and reading makes him want to be an author, and math helps him understand everything. Learning is magical and wonderful and a gift to my 8 year old brother. But then I look around me, at all of my peers, and all I hear is how done people are with school. All I hear is complaints about grades and homework and teachers and tests. School is no longer about learning. I used to love school. I used to be swept up into a magical new place every time I stepped in the classroom. But now that feeling has been squashed. That feeling has been stomped down so deep inside that I can’t even begin to remember what it was like to love school. Now I’m left counting the seconds until I can leave highschool and get away from it all. 31,104,000 and counting. He has so many dreams, and ambitions, and such a fantastic way of looking at life. I wish I had that too. I wish I could still dream of being in movies, or going to the moon. Now I dream practical dreams. Now I dream of things like economics, and desk jobs, and paperwork. I no longer have my ambitions because school told me they cant be done. I wish I could be like my little brother when I grow up, because what better thing to be, than a little kid.
High school is memorizing facts that you’ll forget in two days for a test on information that probably will not affect your job in ten years. It’s sobbing and screaming because you’re just too stressed. It’s finding out who you are - within the school guidelines and social norms. It’s doing 28 hours of work and activities in only 24 hours. It’s drinking coffee every day because there just isn’t enough time for eight hours of sleep. It’s learning how to factor when you could be learning how to do taxes. It’s breaking your back with a backpack full of textbooks. It’s going to school and sitting there for eight hours only to go back home and do three more hours of work. It’s taking what is claimed to be the best four years of your life and turning it into a living hell. It’s crying in the hallway during finals week. High school is leaving you clueless when asked a non-academic question, because there is no study guide for life.