By Ziya Patel
The day you were born, you were clothed in innocence. Many of us choose to believe that life is filled with eternal happiness, but then reality hits and we’re forced to open our eyes to the painful truth. Life is complicated, especially for students who are trying to achieve their dreams. The pressure is extreme and many of us lose hope as we try to cross the bridge to the other side in which we finally get what we desire. That is the life of many students who are preparing to face the real world, but the preparation itself is a difficult process.
Once we reach our teenage years, we are thrown into a world where we start to figure out who we truly are and what we wish to accomplish in our existence. We walk with confidence that we will make our dreams a reality, but little do we know that a great challenge awaits us. Pressure from parents and teachers who hold strong expectations starts to eat you up when you can’t meet the bar they have set for you. As a high school student, I can say that things are hard as I try to score high grades in AP classes as well as honor’s classes. When I don’t achieve my goals, I feel disappointed in myself and I see the bridge breaking apart as I try to make it to the other side. It’s not easy in this world and things only get harder as we grow up.
“When you finally achieve what you’ve always wanted, the struggle seems beautiful”
Waking up every day at 6 a.m. and going to school where we sit in classrooms listening to teachers for seven hours and trying to keep our eyes open due to the little sleep we had last night because of all the homework we get is tough. On top of that, as we (freshmans and sophomores) see juniors and seniors talking about college, we tend to worry about what college we are going to apply for and whether or not we will be accepted into that college. After all, that is what it all comes down to. Being accepted into a good college is a step closer to reaching the other side where your dreams lay.
Unfortunately, some of us get stuck along the road to our dreams. The weight of bad grades, pressure from parents, competition among other students and long hours of homework from teachers is too much to carry. Tests get harder and the hours spent studying increase, which snatches away the hours of sleep we need. Suddenly, school isn’t about learning, but about the upcoming tests and how well we do on it. Some of us begin to define our worth by what we receive on these tests and it further discourages us from achieving our goals in life. Most of us dread getting up on Mondays and count down the days until it’s Friday.
However, in the end it’s all worth it and that’s what most of us don’t see. When you finally achieve what you’ve always wanted, the struggle seems beautiful. Almost all of us fail to see that the storm isn’t going to last forever and end up sitting in the rain with a glum face. The truth is that challenges are a part of life and even though it seems impossible to overcome the hurdle placed in front of you, you just have to have faith in yourself and you can make it over.
Like every other student, I’m not a fan of school, but this all changed when my mother asked me why I go to school. The answer is clear…for my future. I envision my future to be great and full of success and school allows me to learn and grow as an individual so that I’m prepared to face the real world where greater challenges will confront me. The idea of my future is what makes me get up every morning and do the best I can. I imagine myself becoming a successful doctor. I want to save lives and help as many people as I can. It’s my dream to make people smile who didn’t think they could ever smile again. I realize that going to school is for my own benefit and I am so fortunate to have this opportunity. Even though I didn’t think that life would be this hard, over time I’ve become aware of the fact that it’s the challenges and the bad part of life that makes you who you are and a life without the bad would be meaningless. Yes, the pressure is a lot, but I’ve realized that you have to push through and before you know it, you will make it to the other side with a huge smile on your face. No one said life was easy. Life is messy and complicated, but in the end you will get what you deserve. Your happy ending.
—Ziya Patel is a student at Mineola High School