The importance of learning... Being a teenager sometimes leaves you slightly overwhelmed as one can learn so much in a day, in a minute, in a second. At this age, there is so much that I haven't seen or experienced. Sometimes months can go by without anything new entering my life but then one day I can be bombarded with so much information that I just have to pause because of my miniature existential crisis, such as the realisation when I was twelve that "blush" is a contraction of blood rush and I had to spend the afternoon analysing about every word in case it would result in another existential crisis two years later. I'm still finding words which do that to me.
I distinctly remember turning twelve and suddenly I came to the realisation that I had the opportunity/obligation to create a whole new identity or persona. I spent hours recreating outfits using clothes from my wardrobe and spending hours watching videos on how to find who you are. It's so confusing when you are suddenly launched into a sea of new, also very confused, people and you just don't know who you're supposed to be! What no one tells you of course is that that's okay and that learning who you are is a long, exhaustive process because, after all your hard work, you realise that the person you are is the person you have always been and you don't need a new set of clothes to prove that. I enjoyed learning that.
School has shown me how much I love learning in a more academic sense. I love the taste of new words, both english and french, I love the focused mindset when attempting to solve an equation where suddenly your mind goes clear except for the numbers, I love learning new chords and stringing notes together to create the not-so-perfect melody, I love contributing my opinions to class discussions and that feeling when your hand is in the air because "yes! I know the answer!!!". I love collecting little pieces of knowledge and trying to form comprehensible paragraphs with them and reading the final result with a feeling of pride in my chest.
I think school inspires to us to prepare for our future. Something that we don't do for each other. School almost gives you the push to want more for yourself, to want to do something amazing with your life and more than that it gives you the qualifications you need to do that, which is a wonderful gift in itself. My dreams are more advanced than perhaps I am capable of but I will deal with that when I come to it, but for now I wish to work as hard as I can and I will continue to do everything in my power to learn more about myself, my rights and my opportunities.
There is definitely a culture within teenage society against learning and against the love of learning. Beyond that, I have noticed a lack of desire to do anything and a significant amount of laziness circulating among us. These teenagers give the entire teenage society a bad name. These teenagers are the ones who are complained about by 60 year old women because they're afraid. These teenagers are the ones which hold the rest of us back. I understand. I do. I understand how easy it is to not want to learn, technically I am procrastinating right now by doing something almost equally academic in order to satisfy the guilt I feel in my stomach at not revising. So I understand. But I wish it were not this way, because I think we, as a teenage society, are worth more than disapproving glances.
Reading "I am Malala" almost a year ago now really inspired me. It really shocked me to learn about the girls who were not as privileged as we are to go to school. In this country, we have so many opportunities just given to us and we take them for granted. In fact, many of us which we did not have these advantages which would be horrifying I'm sure to the girls in Africa or under the Taliban who just don't. It feels so selfish to complain about my workload when I am so lucky to have it. I am so lucky to be able to go to school for free and earn qualifications which will act as a safety net for me throughout my life.
What I'm trying to say really is that I know it can seem really hard when you're in school. Perhaps I can say that because I'm clever and I do the grades that I want so maybe it's not so hard for me. But I promise you that you can do this. Whatever exams you are facing you really can do this. It is amazing that you have been given this opportunity. Learning is a gift. It really is. It allows us to expand our minds in ways we didn't think possible even 50 years ago. Don't dismiss it out of indolence. I believe in you.