High School: Going Against the Grain

Often times, high school is a place where people say they really “found” themselves. One of the biggest pressures in high school is this. You’re told that you need to figure out who you are, because soon, you’re going off to college and studying for the career you hurried to choose. You’ll have to get a job and work and spend the rest of your life in a field of study you were interested in as a teenager. Now, where I go to school, there are a lot of very bright kids who weigh themselves down with AP classes, dreaming of going off to Stanford or Princeton or Harvard. A lot of kids think that by taking as many honors classes as possible and pulling countless all-nighters, they’ll get into their dream college, become scholars or doctors or other high-paying, difficult jobs.

Many times, these goals end up being traced back to the parents. The parents encourage their children to take difficult classes, which results in them becoming unhappy at some time or another. They’re bogged down by homework, tests, and projects, and they’re unable to get the proper amount of sleep or spend a healthy amount of time with family and friends. It becomes all about school, about working hard so that you can go off to college and work even harder. Rarely do I find students who solely decided to pursue such challenging careers (but if you’re one of those people, hey man, do what you love :] ). I have a few friends whose parents want them to go to huge colleges and work hard jobs. Most of them would rather do something different, though.

Personally, I want to go to school to work in the art field. I’d love to become a storyboard writer or character designer. I think that kids shouldn’t have to be forced into a career by their parents. Of course, parents certainly should offer suggestions or help their kids if they’re indecisive, but making a child take on more than they can handle (or want to handle) isn’t right. I’m extremely grateful to have such supportive parents, but I know friends who aren’t as lucky. I want to reach out to anyone having a hard time with these kinds of thing. The best thing to do is try to communicate calmly and peacefully to your parents what you’re feeling. It’s important to stay civil. You’re still family. Just never forget to go after what you love.

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Jason White 3/12/07 © (CC BY-SA 2.0)

I know that it’s hard to find jobs that make people happy these days. To support a family, or even just yourself is difficult, and to do so, you probably won’t be working the ultimate dream job. My hope, though, is that we can get as close to it as possible. Happiness is key in the work place, and without it, life can become dull and dreary. Maybe you won’t get your favorite job right away, either. But you have to remember to never give up on that dream job. Aim high, my friends. It’s not easy. It’s never supposed to be easy. You’ll get there if you keep trying, though, as corny as it sounds. And if it’s really, truly meant to be, God will guide you there himself.

I’m going to keep fighting to get there as hard as I can. Next year, I’m starting to buckle down with some animation classes that will really help solidify my art. I’ll look into regular and art colleges, and decide when I’m old enough just what to do. I encourage you to do the same for your dreams, and keep working towards them. It could very well pay off in the end.

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