I don't know how to feel about the American education system. Or rather, I'm barely starting to realize that I have some inkling of an opinion of what I think is right. See, I've only recently (like, this semester recently) started weaning myself off of the idea that my high school transcript is the do-all end-all piece of paper that will determine my life's worth. It sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud, slightly dystopian, and (dare I say?) hugely terrifying that so many of us have been sold the idea that four years will determine how our entire lives will play out. Still, I've gone along with the status quo and will probably continue to in the future, just because I'm human and our collective number one priority is self-preservation. I say probably because I've seen High School Musical.
The belief that validation comes with exhaustion has always been a daunting one for me, because it's one that I've felt constantly emanating from my parents. Even though they swear on "health before wealth", their actions have spoken otherwise - 100 hour work weeks are both inspirational and deterring for a young, spoiled American. Back to High School Musical.
If this work ethic is Ashley Tisdale, tirelessly working to cater to the world's definition of "success", then another work ethic is Zac Efron, worrying more about what he thinks is worth pursuing. Now, recently I went to PASF's Convention and while there I found myself talking to Isabella and Mashad about college applications and their experiences. I don't know if it was their intent to do so, but talking to them confirmed for me that trying to fool admissions officers with pure resume-builders shouldn't be a priority (especially now when most everything has been set in stone). Isabella and Mashad are basically the Zac Efrons we need in the sea of Ashley Tisdales that is SciTech. They've been able to work their butts off in pursuing successes that they've defined for themselves, and I think they are among those who will inspire change in the world. Hats off to both of you and the others I'm sure have gone, are going, and will go through SciTech with the same mentality.
Even with just this past week of SHOWERTHOUGHTS, it's been enough for me to realize that these upcoming months should be filled with doing what I think is worthwhile and trying to stimulate change through my efforts. I admit, I may only be comfortable with accepting this because in the past three years I've done all I can and am satisfied with how I come across to others who buy into the world's definition of success. Reaching this point has made me realize that if I have to attend a university that only accepted me because I was a cookie-cutter student to the end, I don't think I'd be truly happy with myself. My beliefs tell me that I only have one life to live, and if defying the norm leads to my definition of success then it's validated. I don't want to drop.