I’m doing a little bit of psychoanalysis at 5:30 am when I’m meant to be studying for Extension maths. Whatever. This is important. I’ve had a revelation since being up at 2 am doing frikking trigonometry and mathematical induction. Bull that isn’t going to get me success. Tan(x-y) never brought anyone real, long term success did it?
In realising that I graduate from high school in about 36 work/school days (wasn’t bothered to calculate the actual number), there are some things that I’ve learnt from my teachers, my mentors, my friends and through my own personal experiences dealing with both loss, hardships and obviously successes.
Yes you may be wondering about the “loss” and “hardship” 17 year old students go through because all teenagers are angsty drama queens. But we all have a face that the public sees, and then when we get home, we remove all that flawless makeup – the winged liner, the perfect pout, the rose gold creme eye shadow – to reveal a side that only the people we really trust know about.
That brings me to my first point. My experiences through primary and secondary education were quite exciting in the sense that it was always a highly competitive environment where marks and success had a heavy influence. I was placed in an opportunity class in year 5-6, meaning the standard of work we completed was more complicated then the average year 5 or 6 kid. It apparently helped us develop our brains from a critical angle, and sharpened our responses to difficult problems, both cognitive and real life situations. And then, I was fortunate to be accepted at the best ranking all girls selective school in Sydney. That was a matter of pride for me because it was the second major academic success under my belt. NSGHS has always been… exciting. In my 6 years, I’ve had the pleasure to experience roles in leadership, sports, debating, community and charity, academics and all round development. Being in a competitive environment has driven my work ethic, and looking back on how I shaped myself, it’s a nice feeling to see that the person I am today (or the person I like the world to see) has been developed through personal experience.
But the most important thing I learnt was that my success should never come at the sacrifice of health, relationships, happiness and the passion and drive to do things. In a critical time period like right now, we undermine ourselves and how bright we are. We get added stress from teachers and peers and parents who don’t realise that their words, describing our essays as “appalling” and “poorly done” really impact how we see ourselves. I know that personally, words affect me. I let negativity settle in my stomach and dwell on my imperfections from an academic front. The mark lost out on an essay. The feeling that I can’t prove that I’m worthy of my teachers. What’s come out of this, is the realisation that at the end of the day, regardless of what the outcome is, if I’ve put effort into something, no one has the right to denounce the validity of my efforts. We all have our vices that hold us back, but to society, I’m still succeeding. I’m still proving that I’m a capable and talented young woman who has the power to make change. And that’s all that matters.
This leads on to my second point. Happiness. I have experienced some tough things throughout high school. Personal issues, the death of a loved one, bullying. The usual really. But what I’ve learnt from that is that I am capable of bulldozing my vices, tearing them into shreds and scattering them into the wind. No one I don’t trust completely, no one I don’t break my walls down in front of, needs to see that sometimes I will ugly cry, sometimes I will doubt myself. Sometimes I will drown my thoughts in my vices: never good enough, never pretty enough, not good enough for him, not deserving. It’s a fact of life that things don’t work out, and I’ve learnt that my happiness is never going to be affected by it. Sure something didn’t come out the way I wanted it to, but happiness is the only thing I really believe in fighting for. If I get my happiness from being the best I can, then that’s what I’ll strive for. Because we’re all pieces in the world’s game. But we have the right to control our futures. No one else does.
And finally, when you’re with the people you love, and the people who love you, that’s all that matters. You’re invincible. I learnt this after taking my frustrations out on the pavement, by going for a stress run to release all this built up negativity in my brain; and then talking to my two closest friends. I’ve made a decision that I’m never going to let anyone’s actions affect me like they did on Friday because it isn’t fun. Also, I’m a strong independent young woman with a bite and some sass, who’s ready to prove to the world that she isn’t afraid of being hurt, because it only makes her more invincible. Screw boys when you’ve got your closest friends and a myriad of experiences waiting for you. I’ve decided that I’m going to apply for a job, I’m going to save up and get on a plane and travel somewhere exciting. No one can stop me. I’m going to find my passion for music through piano once my exams are over. Relearn the songs that I love so I can enjoy my love for music. I’m going to bloody slay the HSC, get into university and shine because that’s what we’re made for. Shining.
The art of being positive 101 with Simran. At ungodly hours of the morning.