Webby Wednesday: Dear parents

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Please understand that we’re trying our very best. We’re not a perfect student with straight A’s and flawless grades on tests and assignments. Please understand that it gets hard to live because your very words are crushing our hearts. Why would you take away the things we love the very most and succeed at? Please understand that we’re only human. We can’t achieve straight A’s overnight, or drop all the things we love and focus on one thing, or give up the first 25 years of our lives to be devoted to school and only school.

Please understand.

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The reason I wake up for school.

I’m apart of my school’s journalism team; a class that my parents thought would be great for me. That class is the one thing that keeps me thinking, “You know what? School isn’t that bad.” That class is the one class that I look forward to attending each and every school day. That class is a class I’m proud to be apart of.  Sure, I complain about waking up early and meeting deadlines, but I wouldn’t trade it for straight A’s. Let’s be honest for a second. Here are my current grades:

Journalism Class- A

History- B

PE- A

English- B

Science- B

Math- C

French- A

Not the best, but not the most devastating grades right? I try, but truth is, I don’t try as much in math as I do in my journalism or English class. Writing is a way I unleash my true feelings. Everything comes out in black and white in front of me. Everything becomes clearer. Everything horrible seems to fade away and my worries vanish. Writing is my light- it guides me through the dark and shows me the path I must take to get where I want to go. It’s what I know and associate myself with and what I to make me feel better.

I have a question for parents of middle school or high school students.

If you knew your child was crazy about a sport or a class or any sort of creative

If you knew your child loved something, more than anything else in the world, would you take it away from them? If they found joy in it, at the cost of a school grade, would you be the parent and take that away from them?

There is a difference between being a parent and a good parent. A parent loves and cares for their child. They’ve earned their title in the everyday little things, and spontaneous big things they do. They’ve made sacrifices to see a smile on their child’s face. They protect and love their kid, and would give themselves for the safety of their child. A good parent does all of that, and just one more thing. A good parent does not only support what they believe their child should do, but also realizes and kindles the passion that child has for other activities. It’s hard to give in, but it matters so much. I can’t begin to explain how happy I would be if my own parents would accept what I love doing and encouraged me to make it a career. Parents, it seems like being realistic is the default mode for you. What if for one day your switch was on idealistic? And on that day you thought, “Wow. My kid is talented and passionate about this. This could be a life long thing.”

Back to my journalism class, I have a C in math. My parents’ solution? Take me out of the journalism class. My Dad disappointed me with what he had to say. He said, “Katrya, you’re not suppose to have fun now. Fun is for later in life, when you’re successful. You’re not suppose to take classes because you like them. All that matters is getting good grades.” What? In my family, I always have to argue my point when I feel like something has been done wrong. So I argued my point. How can you sit there and tell me that “fun is for later”? I want to live in the now. I want to make friends and experiences to look back upon and think, “Wow, that was really cool.” I want to regret nothing and just look back to say, dang…I wouldn’t change it for all the world, not, wow…I wish I would of stuck to that or done that.

In a favorite song of mine by Charlie Puth, the music video starts off with a quote that I will never forget.

“We are not here for a long time, we are here for a good time.”

-John Mulheren

This song touched me in a way I can’t explain, but can tell you I sat there crying- in a good way. It’s called Tangerine Dreams and I remember first looking at it thinking it would be funny or random, only to find myself 3 minutes and 50 seconds later in tears.

To this day, I still tear up listening to this song.

Parents, not all, but most, why do you give us false hope and put such a large demand on us? Sometimes, we just don’t get it and we can’t solve the problem ourselves, what good is it to yell at us from the sidelines? Encouragement and support does not mean you get angry with us and yell at us to do better. We all know yelling and anger doesn’t get you anywhere; you just dig a larger hole for yourself and that person.

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When I was still playing soccer, I watched a match where the star player on a team was just so out of breath and fed up, he stopped running. As this young boy, no more than 10 was huffing and puffing to get to the other side, his mom was yelling her head off trying to get him to keep up with the game. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! THE BALL IS MOVING AND SO SHOULD YOU! RUN!” In the middle of the game, he turned around snapped. His face became a deep red and his fists were tightly balled up. “I AM TRYING MY BEST, BUT I CAN’T. I’M NOT GIVING UP, I’M JUST TIRED. ARE YOU THE ONE RUNNING OUT HERE?” Everyone stopped and the embarrassed mom just stopped talking and sat down quietly. That moment has stuck with me to this day because of the truth in his words and the very thought of a child schooling his parent.

In situations like the soccer one, I like to say #thestruggleisreal. Upon talking to friend about “the struggle” (aka balancing school and dealing with parents and life), he just wanted to give up completely. He was seriously thinking about suicide and it scared me to think someone so happy and energetic could just be hiding something this big behind a smile. He seemed so easy-going and content that nobody would even begin to think that he would take his own life. It was an idea that I would of never thought of in a million years, yet there it was right in front of my face. At the same time, I thought about the idea of taking your own life. It’s a choice that can never be undone or fixed or changed. It puts an end to your own misery, but starts a whole new chapter of fear for those you love. I see it at every high school- good and bad districts alike. The “good” kids who cut themselves and hate everything about life…

and what scares me most, is that I know how they feel. The fear of failing. The threat of losing what you love. The stress from the endless assignments. The anger from the combination of it all. It just eats away at you until you’re a small shadow of pure anger, stress, and sleep deprivation.

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When I use to do well at school. Oh how long ago that seems…

In middle school, I use to be the smart kid going places. Straight A’s, a flawless 4.0 every trimester for three years, was an ASB member, was given medals for my writing, graduated middle school with the most accomplishments, attended karate for  two hours, five days a week, and still managed to get in at least 9 hours of sleep at night, yet here I am.

I’m a hollow shell of the person I use to be. I’ve been reduced down to a sleep deprived, angry, irritable wreck. If you told me two years ago that I would later have a C in a class and get less than 6 hours of sleep a night, I would laugh at the idea and shrug it off. I would think you were crazy. I would think C’s could never be printed on any of MY report cards. I would think….but now I know. Now…as sad as it seems, I’ve accepted it. Just 2 years ago I would of never thought of “barely passing”. Yet now I’m holding on to the hope that I pass the class. Parents, the stress is real and in times like high school, all we look for is support and faith.

I’ve kept you all long enough, so here’s the videoS for the week. One is called Dear parents which I found truthful in content.

The other video made me tear up, because I could relate so well to it. I understood the very emotions and message it was giving off. This one is called A New Start Final Episode 8.

Thanks for sticking around for so long,

Katrya

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9 responses to “Webby Wednesday: Dear parents

  1. Thank you for so brilliantly describing the epitome of a honors/ap student’s daily life. I can’t say how perfectly you captured the hallow spirit of an average high schooler who is struggling to balance sleep, school, and some fun just to have some sanity. I think that your post is 100% accurate and that I think we should forward this to demanding parents everywhere

  2. Amen, sister. I think a little stress is good now and then, but too much can be detrimental. Thank you for your honesty because it really resonated with me. Even when your parents are supportive sometimes you still feel internal pressure to excel and be perfect. It’s easy to say that a student’s priority is to learn, however, when the school system is revolved around grades, college, and preparing for the AP exams, it’s difficult to believe it. Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent so (respectfully) stick it to the man, girl!

  3. I could definitely relate to you as an AP student myself. Some days I spend almost 12 hrs at school because of practice. The transition from middle school to high school was not easy AT ALL. I was also that kid in middle school. But once sophomore year rolled around, things started to come at a quicker pace. Grades dropped and I’ve become more stressed. I wished my parents understood what I was going through. Thanks for this post! Shows how I’ve been feeling the last couple months. Especially now with finals around the corner.

  4. My dear niece,
    I debated for so long to answer your blog because of fear you might resent me for supporting your parent decision. Well, it was a silly though as I know it is part of my duty as an aunt to guide you in life and most of all I trust your kind spirit and heart to understand that I only want the best for you by giving you my advices.
    The world around you is not so cruel… it’s the battle inside your mind that is cruel and that can only be cured if you change your point of view.
    I was young once, I was rebellious, and yes I did balance my life with work, school, and a broken heart to top it off. I had an average of 4-5 hours of sleep daily and I put on 15pd as well to damage my self-esteem even further down. Suicide thoughts did cross my mind and every now and then it still does… but with age and experience, I accept that life is far beyond what I have imagined. As we get older, it gets harder and there is less and less room for mistakes and redo. We have to accept that failure to understand or to be understood is part of being human and it is not the end of the world… it is only part of the world, therefore there is no need to commit suicide. We will all be dead by now if it was.
    How we feel is only temporary and it will go away if we reverse our thoughts. Tell your friend that ending his life is just a way to be selfish and weak. To think about ending one own precious life is to think that we are the person who is right and unique in this world and nobody went through what we are going through. Well, what if you were wrong? What if people do understand you, but feel responsible to be the guardian of your live until you are mature enough to stand up for yourself?
    Always remember that life is not only black and white, there are million shades of gray in between and sometime even colorful ones if you really want to see them, but only time and patience will teach you that. So be patient and let the people who love you the most help you until you gain enough experiences to understand that meaning.
    I don’t expect you to agree to everything I am saying right now because you are still young and you can only live with your own timeline. The real question in this blog is what can you do to ease the problem between what your want and your parent need?
    You had your chance to write your thoughts out in that class and you still are able to write your thoughts in this blog. Writing and expressing yourself is something nobody can take away from you. Not in this country. So please as a parent I encourage you to keep writing. Learn to prioritize, learn to organize your time better, learn to make some sacrifice in your hair do time or nail polish time to make room for writing. I promise you that if your grade goes up, you can introduce the Journalism class back to your parent.
    We carry heavy baggage in our mind with our past mistakes and experiences so do believe me when I say I understand your response to your parent decision. It seems so unfair to remove what you love doing the most in exchange of better grades, but there is a saying: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” We only push you to be at your best so your quality of life will exceed ours when you grow older.

    Lastly, We (your parent and love ones like me) have made a lot of mistakes and we continued making even more and bigger mistakes as we get older so forgive us if we are not good parent and only parent because we are only human after all just like you who can’t always be a straight As student. All these fights with your guys tired us as much as it tired you, but if we don’t fight for you.. who will? If we don’t love you, who will?

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