Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Invisible Ledge

I have friends who will tell you that it's getting too stressful, this year. That we're balancing on the edge on an invisible ledge. That before long, we'll start tipping off, one by one. That we should be allowed to take a break.

And it's true. This year, I've committed myself to more than I ever have - sport and study and leadership and drama and tutoring math -  because it's my last year at school and I want to give everything a go.

But I don't feel like I'm on a ledge. I'm tired, but that's not going to slow me down. And I do feel stress. But it's enough that it feeds my energy rather than shutting me down. It's true, a few things have bought me to tears, but thats life.

My learning is still directed by teachers, there are people making sure I go to class. I have all the time in the world to sit down with my teachers if I don't understand something. Classes are only one hour long, and they're not (super) early in the morning. I'm given steps to complete assignments. Next year, at university, I won't have any of that.

Next year, the stress of everything is going to double. In the next five years, the responsibilities my peers and I will take on will big huge - bills and house renting/buying and graduating university and getting our first 'real' job, some people might get married, start having children - the list goes on and on.

And I know all of these things, but it has always seemed far away. But now I have decided what I want to study, and I'm thinking about my student loan. And it's kind of scary, to step out from the protection of high school. But I'm keen to start taking on the responsibility and begin navigating for myself next year.

I guess that I see and hear a lot about how scary it is to move on and how much work everything is and how stressed we all are. And it's true. Life isn't easy. You do have to push through obstacles. And moving from childhood to adulthood is massive. You have to grow mental toughness and maturity.

But there's another side to the coin - one where you can view the move as exciting, be prepared to take on responsibility under less guidance than you're used to. One where you can be thrilled to leave behind childhood and enter the next stage of life.

Sometimes I get tired of hearing that teenagers have too many responsibilities, and that we're not set up for the real world. I want to see teenagers who acknowledge that they do have to grow up, take on responsibility, and take matters into their own hands. I want to see them making sure they can get a student loan and research how to fill out a tax return. I want to see them asking their parents in a mature fashion for help.

I want to see them leaping at opportunities and putting 100% into life. I want to see less excuses and more action. I want to see acceptance that sometimes happiness is not the short term goal. I want to see leaders and helpers and workers. I want to see the future beginning to emerge.

What do you think about taking on responsibility? When do you think teenagers should start stepping up? Are you scared of moving into the next stage of life? Is growing up really that bad? Do you agree or disagree with me? Thoughts? 
Opal is cynical and a bit worried about how her generation behaves, including herself. 


  1. Huh, I guess you point out something I never thought about before—instead of expecting school to take care of us like children we used to be, taking responsibility for the adult life we are to have and do the research and stuff we have to have. I mean, I think I do that in my own life, but it's not something I often see expressed among people in our age group, and I like that you bring it up. It is something important to think about!

    And as someone who is finishing up her first year in college, I would say that it's a lot easier on the other side, somewhat. I mean, you do have to pay for things and work and stuff, but instead of it all being geared towards getting into a college, it's being towards what you want to do with yourself and who you want to become. At least for me, that puts a whole lot of hope in my life. And, on that note, I hope you have a decent time of it transitioning out of high school and into the grown-up world. :) I hope you tell us all about it as it comes!

    1. I think we've become a pretty passive generation where we expect everything to be handed to us from our parents/the previous generation :)

      I defiantly think the goals in collage/university are one of the reasons I'm excited to leave high school. I want to go out and meet new people and study what I like and so on :)

      Thank you! I hope I do :)

  2. I have never really thought of it that way. But I guess we really all are teetering on the edge of a tightrope just waiting fir that one thing that will push us off. Wow that sounds really dreary now. Awesome post though!

    Nabila // Hot Town Cool Girl

  3. I FEEL LIKE I'M ON THE INVISIBLE LEDGE. (But then, I have one more year at school to go.)

    You're growing up so much, Opal!! This is scary. We're all growing up.

    1. I definitely think growing up is scary, but not something we should shy away from :)

      We are :o

  4. You've decided what you're going to study? this is huge! what are you going to stud?

    1. At this point, Maths/Science/Horses :)

  5. G'day! I just found your blog and i love it!

  6. The best and most important thing to learn when growing up is perspective. Figure out what matters long term (one bad grade, does not) and make those things the priorities and learn to let the rest go. Work hard all the time, but don't sweat the small stuff.

    Also, university is hard, but there is so much help available to students, so don't worry. (Most) professors want to see their students succeed and are happy to help in any way possible.

    Good luck with everything!

    1. Perspective is super important! I do tend to get caught up in the little things, like a bad grade, but I'm learning to look to the future instead :)

      Thank you :)