What School Is Like For Students Today
It’s the most dreaded time of the year, when the summer air starts to feel a little cooler and the trees start to look just a tad bit more bare. It’s back to school season.
I myself fortunately don’t have to go through this routine this year. I graduated from high school last June and starting my college classes in the spring semester (inShaaAllah), but I did go through 13 years of public school and know very well what school is like for kids growing up in the United States. As you get older and go up a grade, you start to dread the first day more than the last one. There is more responsibility, more importance, more pressure. More stress. Your actions matter more and more, and to be frank, most teens don’t know how to handle that stress.
My own way was to bottle it all up and shrink it down into a miniscule dot in my brain to worry about later. It always ended up being a mistake, causing me to sometimes have panic attacks when the thing I was stressing about was right in front of me. I learned how to talk to myself and push through what was bothering me. I routinely had mini pep talks with myself to gain self confidence. I constantly told myself I could do it, to stop worrying and to just do. That as long as I tried my best, I was doing great. I tried to loosen the standards I had put up for myself, stopped comparing myself to my friends, and started thinking about who I really wanted to be.
Even though I didn’t stress about things for long periods of time, I saw my friends and classmates go through the pains stress does to a person. Too often I saw them on the verge of tears when they couldn’t understand a topic, stay countless hours before and after school to get extra help, and worry about that one homework sheet they didn’t finish because they were writing their 15th essay of the year in December. Students in the US are stressed. And maybe that is why we are so attached to the internet. It gives us an easy and immediate escape from our daily life, and it’s something we can enjoy without having to put effort in.
To be honest, I actually do miss high school. I miss the classes, I miss the purpose it gave me, and I miss my friends. There were times when I enjoyed learning in class, laughed with the teacher as they shared jokes, and felt good about the work I did. And the irreplaceable moments when I automatically connected with a new friend, went to a friends’ for a project, and painted a parking spot together. But do keep in mind that not every student’s experience is the same. Perhaps the main reason I miss it is because my last year was so great, and unfortunately not everyone can say the same.
And to the students out there who may be reading this, good luck! May Allah SWT make it easier for you this year and for the ones coming as well. Lets all study hard together!
~ Zayyan Budiman