Nearly Everyone in High School Complains Too Much

Nearly Everyone in High School Complains Too Much

Hating one’s generation is one of the most over-used and annoying stereotypes of all time. The phrase “I was born in the wrong generation” makes my skin crawl with cringe. I am well aware that no matter what generation I was born in, my opinion would not change. The problem I am discussing today is one inherent in every person in high school, and is valid across all generations: everyone in high school can’t stop talking about how difficult their life is.

Nearly every human being I interact with at Lambert complains about something rather insignificant when taking into account the grand scheme of things. Everyone takes countless AP classes, joins 12 clubs, plays four sports, and is in band: the thing that everyone forgets is that they chose to do these things. If anyone gives me the argument, “bUt I fEeL pReSsUrEd To BeCaUsE eVeRyOnE eLsE dOeS,” I would tell ask them, “who told you to take so many hard classes?” Just because your friends are doing it does not mean that you can or that you even should. 

If anyone does some basic research, it will become apparent that many colleges do not necessarily want someone who is in every club, every sport, and who has taken every AP they can. You do not necessarily have to do that if it is not for you. There is not one guaranteed strategy for getting into college. Yes, take some APs, join some clubs, maybe play a sport, but you do not have to do all of it if it is too much for you. Taking a lot of APs shows colleges you are ready for college, but take APs that you know you can do well in. If you hate math, don’t take AP Calc! 

Another thing a lot of students hope to accomplish with their six hundred clubs is that they hope colleges will think they are good at a lot of things. Being good at a lot of things, or being well-rounded, is not as desirable as being specialized. Colleges want people who are really good at one thing. Why? Because if you are really good at, let’s take chemistry as an example, then you can produce amazing, ground-breaking research on that one thing. If you do fantastic research, then other people are like, “wow, this college is sick, we should give them money so that they can make more sick stuff.” Colleges want you to get involved in different things, of course, but they should mainly be in one field that you are passionate about. A chemistry major has no reason to be playing lacrosse, doing debate, and taking piano lessons unless they want to. Just do things related to your major, and maybe cultivate a few other side interests that you genuinely enjoy. By doing things that you genuinely enjoy, you will not be as stressed when you have to do so many extracurriculars. The problem, along with the complaining, comes when people have to do things that they hate doing because they think it will get them into college. You don’t have to hate every minute of high school to get into college. “For extracurriculars, I just recommend that you follow your passion and participate in several extracurriculars in that area of passion. I also recommend trying to get leadership experience in your extracurriculars. By showing passion and leadership, colleges will see your potential for greatness after college (you could win a Nobel Prize or Oscar!)” (What Do Colleges Look For in Admissions? Why Are the SAT/ACT Important?)

Colleges just want money. They can only get that money if you are good at doing one thing. So, instead of taking 600 APs and complaining about your AP classes, do some research into clubs and activities about the major that you want to pursue. If you have no idea, try out as many things as you can! Your life will be easier. 

Now, even if you have to take mountains of AP classes that you hate and do loads of work, is it really that hard to put your phone away when you get home for a few hours and apply some time management? If your weekly reported screen time is over 3 hours a day and you complain about not having time to study, I hate to break it to you: you are bad at managing your time, and it is your fault that you do not have time. Make a schedule, wake up early on the weekends; you might have to prioritize your homework over your friends a few times. That is okay. There is nothing wrong with missing a few moments on the weekends with your friends because you need to catch up on work. My parents have found me going to sleep at 8 PM on Friday and waking up at 4 AM on Saturday so that I could do all my homework.

Now, for those of you who want to get into ivy league schools and who complain all the time, once more, I must ask a question: did you think it would be easy to get into the world’s most selective schools? The amount of work an ivy league college requires is ridiculous, and if you want to get into that college, you have to be ready to do that work. If you think that the work you do now is hard, it gets ten times harder in college. So, why do you even want to go to an ivy league school? To live in misery for four years for a nearly $400k degree that might get you a slightly higher starting salary? Unless you have specific goals that can only be met at an ivy league, or you are more than willing to take on the grind that an ivy league entails, don’t go for an ivy league school. It is as simple as that. Ivy leagues are not for everyone. 

  Of course, many will point to mental health as their primary concern. I completely understand those who suffer from mental health have a difficult time dealing with the stress that comes with high school. But the thing is, if you stay up late consistently, spend hours on your phone every day, procrastinate constantly, binge watch TV frequently, and do absolutely nothing to fix your mental health issues, you cannot expect them to go away. I have suffered from extreme mental health issues myself, and I can tell you, they do not go away by just existing in the same exact state that helped manifest them in the first place.

I am self-aware enough to recognize the fact that I am complaining about complaining. But the reason that I feel I have a better perspective is because I used to do nearly every single thing I talked about in this article. I know first-hand what it is like to do all of these things. But I can tell you that not complaining and enjoying the little things in life is infinitely better. Instead of taking classes that are too much for you to handle, go hang out with your friends and enjoy the precious time you have together; go outside and enjoy the beauty of nature; spend as much time as you can with your family, you will miss them when you go off to college; enjoy everything you can. If you feel stressed all the time because of your hard classes, then do not take them! Take courses that will help you along with the major that you have interest in! Take classes that you will be able to thrive in! Learn how to manage your time well! You will be able to enjoy the few precious years you have of your youth. I’m starting to sound like the people who say, “I was born in the wrong generation,” but they are not wrong. This time does not last forever. One day, you will be a geezer, and you will wish that you spent less time complaining and more time enjoying.