Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Teenage Miracle

Isn't it awfully good to suddenly understand something about a person and then see him or her in a whole new way?

Amongst those who I've been studying with for at least a third of my life, who bully, and party, and drink, and complain, I realized the existence of something I call 'teenage miracle'.

A teenage miracle is that one moment when you get to experience a glimpse into the soul of a teenager, and the kindness that comes with it. You can almost see the future adult this young man or woman will turn into surfacing from the depths of all teenage character. And that made me see that, actually, teenagers are way more than they seem to be. They aren't 100% cliché and predictable, and, what I find most beautiful about it all, is that adolescents are, sometimes, more human and empathetic than anyone else.

Teenage miracles are the few seconds I feel as amazed as Louis Armstrong and think to myself "what a wonderful world".

To hear "Sophie, you shouldn't worry about the presentation, you already got an A because you are really intelligent, and no bad group can change that" from the cleverest person in class; to have a classmate who you never really talk to hug you when you breakdown, and offer you some water; to see a student who is the complete opposite of yourself lay on your table, just to stop someone from stealing your place in the classroom and say "I refuse to let you sit on Sophie's chair, go get another place"; to start singing the first line of a song and hear the rest of the pupils continuing it, with rhythm and everything; to have a distracted teenager recognize your test because "she's the only one who draws a circle in the counter clockwise way"; to receive a text apologizing for the joke someone shouldn't have told; to see a whole class united to sing happy birthday to a teacher, and bring him a cake; to experience all students (girls and boys) telling the coordinator the advertisement shown in class is sexist, and shouldn't be part of the school's material.

It all made me wonder:

Aren't we incredibly lucky to get to experience teenage miracles?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Senior in High School

A Reflexion/ Brainstorm-ish text in two parts


For every student, the end of the school year is basically hell. Endless projects and exams, thousands of nights without sleep and deep into big books with really small letters. And in some point, as we approach summer holidays, we catch ourselves thinking "I was so much luckier last year, why did I even complain about essays then, they weren't as hard as this year's".

The thing is, senior year is that way, every day.

Senior year is to sleep five hours a night, when you don't have tests the next day. It is to prepare good presentations in record time (Michael Phelps would be jealous) and act like you took forever searching for everything, when you actually procrastinated a lot.

It is to feel the world on your shoulders and to think that nobody has ever been through that in the history of humanity.

It is to have many revision exercises given on one day and to read 30 pages of a thesis written by Foucault.

It is to realize that the person you started calling your friend when high school started actually was never there for you - or never there in the way you needed.

It is to see who really stands by your side when you're stuck with horrible team mates in your group project.

It is to have nervous breakdowns every four days, and to consider not finishing school, because it is too much for you.

It is to feel the world conspiring against you, and to cry alone before falling asleep- so that no one can hear you and your tears.

It is to feel powerless and small and egoistic because you know, it could be worse. You could be a fugitive from Syria, or a victim in a terror attack or have someone dying in your family.

Girl, and you can't even manage to keep up with homework, shame on you.

Senior year is to be the one person trying to hold your friends' group together, and trying to consulate everyone, while looking like the strong person - when, in fact, you're screaming inside. I MEAN WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE AND I WISH I COULD JUST GO BACK IN TIME WHEN THE BIGGEST OF OUR ISSUES WAS TO CHOOSE WHICH TV CHANNEL TO WATCH.

To be a senior is to wake up at 4am before exams to go through the subject.

It is to have almost no weekend at all, and to basically abandon Netflix, because there isn't any time to binge-watch young Leonardo DiCaprio's movies.

It is to have more than 300 videos in your "to watch later" YouTube playlist.

It is to crave for summer on the third lesson of the first day of second semester of senior year, right after winter holidays.

It is to abominate futility, and everyone who doesn't seem to mind about serious issues.

It is to have patience with your computer, and stop yourself from yelling at it after it starts updating and you can't use it/ you lose the whole written essay.

It is to try to do everything you did before, but with almost no free time at all, and to somehow still do well at school.

Remember when you dreamed of prom? It isn't really the biggest of your interests anymore.

Graduation day? Well, you still do dream about it, but it isn't the same thing. It may still be exciting - but it also means the beginning of your future life as an adult. And that, for a senior, is really, really scary.

It means you no longer are a teenager - and you've been able to, in so little time, make yourself comfortable with that 'in-between' limbo that adolescence is. For some of course, that limbo was worse than for others, but even in some little way there's always something you'll miss from these years (even I - the most unteenage of teenagers will).

I used to have a teacher who said that, if you could manage to finish senior year with an average grade of nine - out of ten points - you'd be successful in life.

(Fun fact: only two of the almost 500 seniors in my year managed that. And no, I'm not one of them, but I was able to get pretty close.)

Anyway, it doesn't really give us a nice perspective of what's to come, because, you know, senior year of high school is all the problems in life which somehow manage to emerge and seem worse at seventeen.

Senior year is to, once and for all, try to hug the whole world with your arms, and let go of nothing or no one.