Life Choices

By the age of just 17, you are expected to decide what to do with the rest of your life. It is your responsibility to decide your career path, university, where you’ll live, your finances and so much more. It’s decided that you are old enough to do all of this, but apparently you’re still not responsible enough to legally drink alcohol.

This is something that has annoyed me for longer than I can remember (the deciding your life part, not the age limit for alcohol consumption). As I’m now in the situation where I only have a few mere weeks to decide what to do with my life, I thought that I should (of course) rant about it online. 

I’m privileged enough to attend a top school (that isn’t private) which has done so much to help me with ‘The Future’. Yet I’m here, still stressed out so much that I feel that maybe I should just drop out of school and work in a bakery so I can happily eat cake all day and roll off into the distance. I’m supposed to have a unique, original personal statement which suddenly isn’t original as my teachers tear it apart and instruct me to talk more about how singing in choir has improved my teamwork skills. It’s stressful enough actually working towards my A levels, let alone all this malarkey. 

Oh, and to all of those MPs who declare that ‘A levels are too easy’, I challenge you to come to my school and survive a week. I bet that you would crumble under the pressure with the long intense lessons and the workload that piles up so much that you crack. On top of that, write me a personal statement, fill in your UCAS form, find a job to earn money for next year, do extra curricular activities (inside AND outside of school, to ensure you seem to have variety) in order to have that extra flair, learn how to play an instrument, do your homework, research EVERYTHING, read around your topic, try to get interviews for university, do interview prep and freak out and, not to forget, go to school. 

Let me know how all that works for you.

Some of you may argue that pretty much everyone has to do it, so why complain about it now? Well what I’m really trying to say is that so much pressure shouldn’t be put on 17 year olds as the stress can be too much to handle. The expectations of our generation are too damn high – I repeat:

It’s about time we change this. No more ‘A levels are too easy’ talks as, I promise you, if you make them harder then you’ll just have a domino effect of teenagers dropping out of school or having a massive decline in grades. You think the students rebelling about money is bad – try to face a mob of angry, stressed out teenagers going through puberty. It’s not a pretty picture. 

I’m not someone who has all the answers but I do like to ask questions (the week long journalism course is to blame for that). So let me know what you think and, until next time, I’m out. ~El

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