Staff Editorial – Write your own story

At Mason High School, we often get too competitive in both our academics and athletics. Frequently in the media, students are told that to succeed, we have to make certain sacrifices. We are told that breaks are equivalent to laziness and that pain is the key to success. But that’s not the case. 

We are kids, not adults. And we deserve to be treated as such. 

It seems that athletes have been held to a higher and higher standard of excellence with every year that passes. Oftentimes, athletes are pushed for excellence and perfection. The truth is that perfection is unattainable. Someone could practice for 12 hours a week, lose sleep and struggle through school, and it still might not be enough to get on that team or get a scholarship. 

Athletics are becoming less like a teamwork initiative with people who share similar interests and more like a way of life for some students – making practices, missing family time, and carrying a deep obligation to the sport. Unrelenting practice and dedication stem from a culture that praises students who make sports their number one priority. 

No one will find success in the same way. Some people do best by focusing on one activity day in and day out. For most, there has to be a healthy balance of activities in order to stay motivated. This means focusing on a few things and having time to sit down and relax. 

As much as we push ourselves to grow up, to be responsible –- we aren’t adults. We are teenagers. And this is one of the only times in our lives that we have the opportunity and the means to branch out and try new things. We aren’t adults and don’t have the corresponding responsibilities – we don’t have kids to feed and we don’t have rent to pay. However, in just a few years, these things will be at the forefront of our minds.

It’s astonishing to look back and realize how much simpler things were when we were younger – one less class, one less hour of homework, one less chore – but the truth is, the past will always look that way as we grow and reflect on our past mistakes and successes.

Being a teenager in high school is one of the only points in life when we can be, and try anything. Instead of spending hours a day working non-stop, training your body towards a level of perfection, try taking a pottery class – just for the fun of it, not competitively. Instead of spending ten hours in a gym every day out of obligation, try joining a charity group – not to put it on your resume, but just for the experience and to help others. 

Don’t be trapped in something you feel obligated towards, because you’re not.

This is our time to write our own story. We hold the pen in our hands. So instead of following the novel that someone else wrote, let’s write our own.