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TeenToday’s guest post is from an anonymous writer sharing her perspective as a high school senior facing an uncertain future.

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Student #298262369

The Student has spent 11 years in school. Kindergarten and 1st grade years were spent at a school where there were barely 200 people. Second grade through sophomore year were spent in a small rural town with an abusive father. Junior and senior year, which are supposed to be the two most important and special years, have been spent in yet another small rural town with an emotionally unavailable grandmother. The Student doesn’t know where they belong. The concept of growing up in only one town is a totally foreign concept to The Student.

The Student doesn’t have many friends. The Student feels detached and replaceable everywhere they go. The Student doesn’t wear UGGS with Victoria Secret yoga pants as soon as the first fall leaf hits the ground. The Student doesn’t listen to the radio. The Student isn’t eavesdropping in the locker room or reading over peoples shoulders to see what they’re texting. The Student feels very little common ground with everyone else in this generation.

The Student has tried in school. But for what? Year after year, the tests are the same. The classes are the same, just a different monotone voice reading along to a powerpoint. The people never change, even if you go to another town. McDonald’s tastes the same everywhere. The Student is tired of jumping through hoops. The Student is beginning to not give a damn if they graduate or not because the Student is never good enough. All the feedback they ever get boils down to “You are too lazy. You aren’t even trying. Here’s a list of things you are doing wrong. Now go do better.“ And when the Student does try or does improve, it goes unnoticed or “Why should you be rewarded for something you were supposed to do anyway?”

The Student never has more than $10 in their pocket. The Student is supposed to figure out how to pay for college all on their own, when they can barely scrape together money for gas.

“But there’s so much financial aid!” they are told.

Yes, and the government took a vacation. There won’t be FAFSA until they go back to their jobs.

“Well then you should apply for scholarships!” they hear.

A person who has no decided major and very little involvement in the community isn’t going to be awarded much. Scholarships come with a lot of prerequisites. Even if the Student does receive the financial aid, that won’t cover school and the cost of living. How is the Student supposed to choose one or the other?

The Student doesn’t have much time. Graduation is in May. The Student sees people posting pictures of acceptance letters the “#dreamcollege” every day. The Student has yet to apply anywhere. The Student is burned out on school. The Student is burned out on life.

How does the Student break the cycle that has become this generation? What is a person to do? Become a hippie? Factory worker for eternity? Spend what the common man would refer to as a “butt ton” of money on Fill In The Blank University for a job they know they don’t want? And how is a person at 18 years old supposed to answer all these questions? If they did what they thought was best for them, they would drop out of high school and never sit in another class. Yes, they might lose options in the future. But they are also saving their mental stability. And if the Student does choose that, does it make them a failure? In their eyes, no. In society’s eyes, yes. And whose eyes are bigger? Whose eyes will trail them for the rest of their life? Whose eyes don’t need to see the reason behind a decision and yet can still judge a situation?

How will Student #298262369 survive?

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