As I toil my way through high school, I’m constantly reminded of how important it is to do well. “Study hard or you won’t get good grades. And if you don’t get good grades, you won’t get into a good college. And if you don’t get into a good college, you won’t get a good job. And if you don’t get a good job, blah blah blah.”
I believe in taking time to enjoy life. Even in this cutthroat, dog-eat-dog world, I believe that I need to spend a little time actually enjoying myself from time to time. I want to get into a good school, and a good job would be nice. But what’s the point if I can’t have fun along the way?
In my mind, everybody should stop and smell the flowers every now and then. Whether that means tossing around the football with a friend, sniping members of Spetsnaz in Call of Duty, or literally stopping to smell some flowers, everyone needs to escape from stress somehow.
I’ve seen too many friends succumb to the monster that is an AP course, sacrificing various pick-up games and weekend fun for evenings of hardcore review and an obscene amount of practice tests. Kids wake up, work at school, work at home, and go to sleep. Then they repeat. For the next four days. I’m sure they eventually get used to the misery, but that’s not really my style.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the importance of hard work. I spent hours studying the entire history of Europe last year, cramming everything from Napoleon to the Crimean War into my brain. My days are filled with aldehydes and antiderivatives. I realize that my future depends on working hard. But I also realize that my sanity depends on having fun.
I’m no slacker. I just like to break up my hours of studying with a few minutes of entertainment. I’m going to be tired the next day; that’s inevitable. So what difference does it make if I’m up for an extra hour studying for a math test because I decided I’d like to play street hockey?
High school is meant to educate me in preparation for college and whatever else life throws at me. And I’m sure that some of the information I’ve learned will come in handy at some point. But the one concept that will always stick with me is the necessity to enjoy life. High school is definitely a little less hellish when I’m not working 24/7. And the way I see it, if I’m going to be working myself to death anyway, is it really going to kill me to have a good time once in a while?
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