Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Life goes on

So after finishing my last textiles exam yesterday I've passed the second hurdle and by next Thursday I will be leaving my last ever exam at my high school and I will be free!
It'll be a huge weight off my back and I know things will be so much better when its done but if you're like me you'll understand but after finishing something as big as high school, especially British high schools which are seven years worth of work, I tend to go into a bit of a numb state. It's as if someone's replaced the general buzz and hassle and regulation of school with nothing. I feel like someone's put a pair of headphones on my ears and is playing just white noise, things seem both clearer and blurred, I just feel like I'm not really feeling whats happening in the earth. 
Rookie Mag, which is fab in every aspect, changed its monthly theme to ACTION, after the Editor Tavi Gevinsion, who grew to be one of my favourite people in the last year, graduated from high school and wrote an incredible piece on not wallowing in nostalgia or worrying about the future and just living for now. It's something that I think the youth of today, me in particular, needs to consider. So much of teenagers lives are focused on the person we used to be and it seems like changing from that person is perceived as wrong or 'fake'. 
Teens are constantly told to look into the future as well, that this test will affect your overall grade and that will affect which class you're placed in which will affect what you do at A levels which affects what you do at university and will set out the path for your job and the rest of your life. And I remember being in year four at primary school, about nine years old and being told that the test we were about to take would influence what sets we were put in during secondary school. Which to me seems insane. Putting all that pressure on a child who's just taking a spelling test. And it doesn't even matter in the grand scheme of things, kids change, minds change, in my primary school I used to be in the top set for year two, yes year two, we were like six, which meant we got to sit on the red table and worked more independently and by the time I got to GCSE level I was being asked if it would be more suitable to move me into set four and do the foundation paper as there were too many people in set three. It made no sense and I think the education system and society in general need to understand that people change and there shouldn't be anything wrong with that. 
I think it comes down partly to nostalgia and the idea that previous generations were so much better and kinder and nicer than the current generation, which pushes teenagers to distance themselves from this generation, just look at the 90's tags on tumblr or watch an old music video and see the hundreds of comments about 'real music is dead' and 'modern music is all crap'.
I myself am a nostalgic person and I have a love of vintage and antique things but that doesn't mean I cant appreciate the way things are now. I want to live for now, not in an annoying YOLO sense by being an idiot and saying 'I live in the moment', but by enjoying and appreciating what I've accomplished today, in the last week, month and year. Its important to reflect on the present, rather than just reminiscing about the past and hoping for the future. Alyssa from Visions of New York City wrote a response to the Rookie article and it eloquently puts some of the points wanted to explain in this post but have gone off track slightly. 
I've done a lot this year, good and bad, I've worked harder at school than I've ever done previously, I've failed tests I was certain I was going to pass and I got my first A in my life. I've liked a boy properly in that crushy weird stomach kinda way and I've kissed two boys I didn't know in one evening. I've felt happier than I have in a long time and have cried in school in front of a class of eleven year olds. I've been braver, felt more creative and started focusing on photography and taken my secret writing more seriously. After a long time I'me beginning to like my body and the way I look, I'm more outspoken and have stopped fearing my own voice and developing a lump in my throat when people asked me a question. I've tried my hand at things I had only ever thought about in the back of my mind, I made a short film, submitted my work into competitions and performed in a musical. I've changed my style and thought about the way I wanted to appear and that sometimes that doesn't fit in with what people expect of me. I've shared more with people, I've kept things secret, I've learnt what stays in my comfort zone and where my boundaries are. Most of 
all I've learnt who I am and that's not to say this is the best version of me and who I should be forever and that things can never change. It just means I'm okay with how things are turning out. 

So dont focus on the distant future and how that one mark on an answer on a piece will drastically alter your whole future and dont wallow in the past and about that one time you called someone the wrong name or something. 
Enjoy your time, have fun, make mistakes and learn from them, as my friend Millie puts it
"We're young, now is the time to behave like young people"


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