This 'Flashback' is written by 11 year old Morgan S. Morgan's thoughts are the inspiration for my September blog, 'Purpose, Passion & Paper', about identifying what drives you and understanding if you can earn income from it. In this piece, Morgan reminds us what it was like to be our younger self and some of the pressures that may not have given us the permission we needed to explore.
High schools prepare students for college the minute their freshman year starts. The clubs you join, the tests you take, the credits you need. It's all for that ground breaking scholarship you could get if you just work hard and study. Because that's your goal in life. Getting into Harvard. It's the one thing you strive for.
Right? But is it? And even if it is, what exactly do you plan to do after? What do you plan to do during?
So many people get caught up in getting into that one ivy league college that they, either don't consider or, completely forget why they would even go. What would they want major in? What job they'd go for after? The thought of actually considering what they'd be interested in is completely forgotten. So when they do end up in College they have absolutely no idea what they're doing. Everything they did in high school was for college. Nothing was out of pure curiosity. Therefore, they don't know what they want, or like. No one ever pushed it on them, and so school is all they know because the time they could have used to find themselves they used to plan for 'future' without thought of what it would/could look like or what makes them happy
Other people end up miserable with no idea what they're doing when college is all they've been told. It's not what they want to do and they know that, but they've never been told about the endless amounts of things they could be doing that not only contribute to education and success, but to their interests as well.
They can start businesses, make mainstream art, own companies, and become popular real state agents or builders. Without even having a degree, you can live a more than stable life while doing exactly what you love.
Yet many people around the world get stuck miserable and stress filled for 4 years, then get piles and piles of debt after without even using the degree they got from college. And sure you can end up in a good place later on. But you could have skipped that whole stage in your life and been in a better place.
So what was the point? Why'd you go? You didn't want to in the start. But you did and it wasn't the best experience. What did you gain from it? Nothing. You went because you had to, and for some people, it had no lasting impact on anything involving your life. Maybe there's an improvement in your bank account. For some people that comes at the cost of how they feel about themselves.
If this was a therapy session, I'd ask you how that makes you feel. :-)
I'm not even in high school yet, and I have a long ways a head before I am. I recently went to my orientation for middle school. It's like they were almost pressuring us to sign up for all these sports clubs to get us ready for college during orientation today. This made absolutely no sense to me since colleges didn't even look at 9th grade and under. It seemed all too...stressful. And this before school even started yet. Like I'm 11. I don't even know where any of my classes for this year are. How am I supposed to know college I want to go to? Or what department I wanna major in. Or even if I'm gonna go.
That's more than 4 years into the future. Why am I preparing for it now? Is it really that serious? I want to figure out where my locker is, know if I'll have new friends, know what I'm doing with my friends now, get to know my teachers and figure out what I actually like to do this year, not the rest of my life.
Morgan S. is a middle school student passionate about all things music, art, 90's hip hop culture and family.
Melissa Ifill, LCSW