The whole point of this article/section is that whenever I feel the need to do so, I will go off my head at something that really annoys me, or to borrow a Peter Griffin phrase, “Grinds my gears”.
So, to start off, I thought I’d rage about something very dear to the hearts of every student at Whitefriars, whether they know it or not.
Guys, at my age, have a lot on our plates. We have:
- Extracurricular activities.
- Compulsory events that the school just decides out of nowhere we are required to be at.
- Exams and study.
Not to mention society demands that we:
- Learn how to drive.
- Get a job.
- Form relationships.
- Become valued members of the community.
And, as we’re going through puberty, we also have the added conundrums of:
- girls (or boys, as I know some of the guys are into. Not judging)
- finding time for recreation.
- Our friends.
All in a measly 24 hours?
These are supposed to be the best years of our lives. And yet I seem to be spending most of it rushing from one event to another, trying desperately to stay ahead of the clock as we frantically complete (often inadequately) the required tasks before we rush off to another location, another event, to do it all again.
The lack of time is astounding. Not to mention that large amounts of students here at Whitefriars live out in the Eltham area, myself included, and spend the better part of 2 hours each day traveling to and from school.
Labor Day celebrates the idea of the 8 hour day, i.e. 8 hours of work, 8 hours of recreation, 8 hours of sleep. With school and society demanding more and more, I’m experiencing more like 12 hours of work, 6 hours of recreation (including travel time) and 6 hours sleep. And when I say 6 hours of recreation, I mean 5 ½ hours doing homework, studying and preparing stuff for school the next day, and ½ hour collapsed in a heap, exhausted.
What am I supposed to do? Cut down on time spent doing homework? No, I can’t do that, my teachers will murder me and I will fail VCE and end up as a pathetic failure who considers the dung in the gutters to be a decent meal.
Maybe I should give up relaxing altogether? No, I can’t do that, my friends will treat me like an outcast, and I’ll have nothing to enjoy in life and end up committing suicide, or worse, become a bureaucrat.
Perhaps I could try cutting down on sleep? No, my doctor tells me that I need to sleep, otherwise my body will just collapse into a shuddering heap, waiting to be feasted upon by carrion birds, lawyers and other such blood-sucking parasites.
Is it any wonder that 1 in 4 young people aged 16-24 suffer from a mental illness, usually an anxiety disorder or depression? And that at least 33% of young people will have an episode of a disorder before they hit 25?
Who can we place the blame on for this? The answer is staring right back at us whenever we look in the mirror. Ourselves.
We, as a society, have become so fascinated with making our children the smartest, brightest, most talented and most popular people they can be, that we as a society have forgotten that we, your children, are still just that. Children.
Society, in its misplaced sense of “doing what’s best for the children”, have hurt the ones we so desperately wanted to protect. We are taking innocent, pure children, and manufacturing them into cynical, world-weary, automatons constantly worried about the next piece of work to be completed. And we call it an education.
If we continue on this path, the future will simply be a bland, grey world, filled with vast, towering office blocks, where the tiniest ray of hope is cruelly crushed under the weight of worries, work and bureaucracy. If this is the world we are heading for, if THAT is the fate of humanity, then I am ashamed to be called a human.
I know this will mostly go unnoticed. After all, you have far too much going on to stop for 5 minutes and read this article. I personally struggled to find the time to put this all together. That is the bitter irony of the whole situation. No-one has enough time to acknowledge they have no time. But please, let kids have time to be kids. They’ll thank you for it.