School has only been in session for about two months and I have already found myself encountering something that to be completely honest, I feel like often controls my life. Fear. I go through my classes and constantly find myself overwhelmed with fear. It is not a deep fear, my life is not in jeopardy, my family and friends are safe, I have enough to eat, I have a roof and a bed. I am not scared for my personal being, rather I am scared of failure. I go from class to class, day through day, worrying about the next test, the next quiz, the last homework assignment, if I am good enough at what I do, if I do enough. Though I do not know this, I think it is fair to assume that this fear isn’t just my own. Many high school students can probably relate. We are driven to succeed by our fear of failure. Stories about the global economy, the competition for jobs, the brilliant kids working twice as hard as us in Japan, all reinforce the idea that to succeed in this world you must be the best at what you do, and you must do everything. It creates an atmosphere in which, for most normal kids, staying up until midnight or later is not optional, but completely necessary. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to have a life, be involved, standout, do well in school, and sleep. What seems to get left behind in this rush to the top is the real desire to learn that is supposed to drive us through our educational experiences in the first place. Kids in impoverished areas of the world may walk hours to school, many do not have the most basic of school supplies and have to make huge sacrifices in order to attend school, but they come if they can because all they want is to learn. Yet, many of us with all the opportunities in the world, attending schools that most people could only dream of, get out of bed in the morning wishing they could fast forward through the week.
The world is not going to slow down. As much as I would like to say that in the future desire will be the motivator behind education; I know that is not true. If anything the world will speed up, and more and more will be expected of young adults. I am only pointing out that occasionally we as students need to step back and really ask ourselves why we are at school. We may rediscover that school can actually be fun.