To the creative kids dreading the start of school....
I was you once. And today my thoughts are with you. I'm thanking God that I'm not going back to school today.
I hated school. I felt so confined and trapped every single day. To have to go somewhere that causes you to feel discouraged and anxious for seven hours a day is exhausting.
Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful for the opportunity for my education and realize it's a privilege, but the school system needs some work. For kids who aren't "book smart" school does a number on self-esteem. I went through school convinced I was dumb for years. I wasn't dumb at all. I was creative. My brain wasn't built for textbooks and test taking. But instead of celebrating creativity and embracing thinking outside the box, our current school system tends to ignore it, making some of the most brilliant minds feel insignificant. Sure you can sign up for extracurricular fine arts activities: band, choir, art, but the options limited and participation is usually dependent upon successful grades which circles back around to the textbooks and test taking. And what about in low income communities? Extracurricular activities are not affordable and academic help is out of reach to keep grades up to even be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities.
When you are a kid they'll start to ask you, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" An artist. A rockstar. An author.
"School gets better in junior high," they'll say. It doesn't. It's more tests and more homework in subjects you're uninterested in.
"It gets better in high school," they'll say. It doesn't. It's all tests, SAT/ACT prep, and college stress. Competition for grades, drama, and drowning in subjects that probably won't be useful in your line of work because you're creative.
You're creative. You ARE a rockstar. And you should be celebrated. You think differently and that is AWESOME. Your mind goes in 100 different directions and that is good. Don't let them discourage you.
When you're in high school they'll ask you again, "What line of work are you thinking of? What do you want to study in college?" And you'll have no clue because for years you've been stuck in a tunnel vision only focusing on getting out. They drown you in school work that drains you, so you don't even have time to continue exploring your passion. You've lost that inner rockstar. You can't find the amazing artist. And you can't write anymore because you're tired of your writing being ripped apart and graded.
"Time flies. Enjoy school while you can," they say. Well school doesn't fly by fast enough when your mind feels confined. When you feel trapped and discouraged for seven hours every single day that takes a toll on you.
"College is better." Yes, slightly. There is a bit more freedom. You don't have class everyday which is a relief. You have more opportunities to express your opinions. But it's still tests and grades skills you have been TRYING to master for the past thirteen year of your educational career. And at this point you're over it. You feel defeated. But you still have years of college to go.
Just remember you are worthy. Having a creative mind is an incredible blessing. There will be so many people along the way who don't see it that way, but just know that you are destined for great things. Hang in there and don't lose that inner rockstar.