People often joke about the dreaded f word. They are not referring to any amount of profanity or cursing that the average teenager hears in one way or another. They are talking about a concept so foreign, so inherently unknowable, that it strikes fear into even the most rebellious adolescent. Future. The word itself seems harmless. It merely asks what you are going to do: what direction you’re headed, the path you have chosen, where you’ll go from here. But what if you don’t know where here is? What if “here” is nowhere and you’re lost just being here, so much so that you are infinitely sure you will never even remotely be able to reach what on earth is supposed to be over there.
And so that is where I find myself. Fumbling for a foothold in the academic hierarchy that is high school. Because high school is what sets you up for college. And college is what sets you up for a career. And a career is how you make your living. “Making a living.” Quite a funny phrase to coin, really. As if working was equivalent to living. But so goes the social standard. Which brings me to the standards that have been set for high school students: the overbearing philosophy that they are constantly working to make something happen. College. Career. Future. The first two make up the latter and those who fail in one facet will invariably suffer in the other. Or so we are told. There is something fundamentally wrong, however, with pushing our youth to achieve not for the purpose of self-validation or even self-improvement. We are being pushed to fit ourselves neatly into the puzzle that is accepted by society. To effortlessly become a part of the constant cycle that dictates a human life. Well, I am here to say quite plainly what I believe to be true. We refuse.