Today I blew off working on a big English essay to help my little sister learn to ride her bike, going to lunch with my mom and friends, and holding my sister’s hand while she got her ears pierced.
There’s part of me, probably the bigger part, that cringes when I think of how much time I wasted, time that could have been spent perfecting that essay.
But you know what?
In reality, that time was much better spent with what I did.
In 20 years, what will I likely remember more: the problems in Les Miserables, or my baby sister growing up?
Hopefully the latter.
Why is our society like this? Why have we decided that it’s ok to make the average high school student’s life literally revolve around school? Don’t get me wrong, I think school is really important. Learning is important, and that’s the primary focus of schools. But the whole system has evolved into something more horrifying. It’s terrible that kids (yes, they’re still kids) think that they can make or break the whole rest of their lives with what they do now, in school.
Yes, learning is important. But stressing out every single moment of every single day about tests, grades, homework, etc., is not. What’s important is to take school seriously, yes (because it does matter and it is important), but also to take a break once in a while. It’s important to lift your head up and take that breath of fresh air in the form of other things you enjoy: music, drawing, writing, spending time with loved ones. Because if you don’t, you’ll surely drown.
I’m likely not going to change my ways because of this. Tomorrow I’m going to spend hours finishing that essay, I’m sure. It’ll probably cut into most of my sleep! But I’ll remember to realize that experiences are okay. Spending time with family is okay. Maybe I’ll take a break, and we’ll try that bike one more time.
(Update: A year later, I read what I wrote above, and realize that I got an “A” on that essay. And my sister has mastered the bike.)