Where are you now, Kristie?

It’s 12:33 AM, and I’m sitting here at my mundane desk, typing away aimlessly at a blank screen. Words fly past my glazed eyes, bloodshot due to a lack of sleep. My head throbs with the pain of drowsiness, and all of my willpower is being used to keep my neck upright at 90 degrees.

On the way to the airport at 7am, bright eyed and ready to take on the next adventure! …….nope.

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Junior year has taken it’s toll.

I thought I’d reflect on my first semester as a junior in high school.

It’s been precisely 3 months since I published my last recipe post here on Between the Cake Layers. Those empty promises of “holiday themed recipes,” and “more that I’ve saved and compiled,” are left broken.

I honestly have not had time to write on this blog.

I’d like to attribute that to some supernatural force that is physically keeping me from writing here, but I can’t. I simply, do not have time.

Why don’t I have time?

Well, between balancing 4 AP classes, 1 honors Orchestra Class, being a News Editor of the paper, serving as President for a club, writing as an intern for a magazine, NHS, CSF (worthless acronyms mind you), and tutoring have managed to occupy every single millisecond of my conscious state.

CollegeDegrees360, on Flickr

I haven’t baked in quite some time. Really. The first time I baked was after finals when I decided to treat myself to an hour of me and my classy Kitchen Aid.

I made green tea macarons
I made green tea macarons

It was well deserved and well needed time, for your information.

But I haven’t baked. At all. I haven’t touched my flour, butter, eggs, and sugar.

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I’ve fumbled here and there with cooking meals in the kitchen, but I haven’t had time to flick on the oven and work my magic.

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It stinks, it really does.

And it’s a problem. It’s a problem I need to address, and that I feel everyone should address.

The problem is not that I haven’t been baking. The problem is that I don’t have free time. My time is sectioned off into things that will be considered on my colelge application. 3 hours for AP Chemistry, 1.5 hours of APUSH, 1 hour of AP English, 1 hour of AP Calculus… And the rest of my time is spent (hopefully) sleeping away my fears.

Did I mention I also get anxiety nightmares?

This nuance that I’ve been having, this “dilemma,” I’ll name it… “edutired syndrome.”

I don’t have time to live. I don’t have time to breathe. With the SAT coming up for me and 4 AP tests, I don’t even have time to sleep.

It’s quite sad, honestly, for me to look back at my past semester and just think of the grueling hours I put into my studies. Not a single flicker of a social gathering or moment outside of my books flashed through my mind. And it made me wonder: Why do I dedicate so much of my time to school?

I should be living my life. I should be staying up late because I’m hanging out with friends, not my English essay. I should be out for 4 hours on a Saturday morning, riding my bike to the beach instead of holing myself up at school (yes, on a Saturday,) doing a Chemistry lab.

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Where’s all the fun in high school?

I feel like I haven’t lived out a full high school experience. Mark my words, that will change next year.

We should be learning material that is not only for a future college class that’s going to suck out $100,000 from my parent’s savings, but material that’s going to help me go through life.

No one taught me how to get through a rift with my friends. No one taught me how to deal with pressure and stress. No one taught me how harsh the realities of the real world are.

Instead, I have a full and deep knowledge of chemical equilibrium and the Reimann Summ formula. I also know how to write a darn good AP Style essay.

This concept of educational knowledge is going to help me. It’s going to fuel me in my major and career.

But I have to get through life’s trials before I get to my major and career, right?

Call me an idealist, but there should be a school based on mastering life. Mastering the first break-up, mastering mean strangers, mastering the art of buying a latte at Starbucks.

We should be taught how to file taxes, how to buy our first house, how to change a tire, how to cook, dance, sing, laugh.

Yes, some of these things that I mentioned above are mentioned in school. But those classes are pushed aside and ignored by the majority of that school’s population.

The education system is simply messed up. People don’t want to learn anymore. They just want to get the hell out with hopefully a good grade and some extracurricular activities stamped onto their transcript.

The world would be a blessed place if we had classes that helped kids go through their life, instead of classes that helped kids learn about their life.

Here’s some food for though today.

-Kristie xx

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6 thoughts on “Where are you now, Kristie?”

  1. In the end it will be all worth it, all these grueling hours spent suffering through hours and hours of work. We work hard now so we don’t have to work as hard later, the reward for the work we do now will leave a lasting impact for the rest of our lives. It is better to lose sleep and work hard now than to later on regret that we didn’t put in more effort before.

    1. But remember what we were talking about during AP Chem that day? What if we grow up to have a Ph.D, and then we end up living on the streets because no one will hire us. What will happen to us then?

  2. Your extreme commitment to each and every one of these various activities is certainly commendable. You are talented in each and every one, with so much potential to offer the future. However, to push yourself to the brink on a daily basis is wearing and needless; how is a life lived fully when the objective to achieve a specific number on a report card dictates every remaining second? I know your efforts will very well likely pay off; it is a practical certainty. But savor the moment and channel your passions with cookery! Next time when faced with another griping AP Chem problem, bake it off! Bake it off! 🙂

  3. I agree that school should provide us classes which help us learn how to develop important life skills. For example, if a student in their senior year doesn’t know how to cook and they’re about to go away from home for college, how will they be able to feed themselves besides eating cup noodles or buying to-go? How about students who don’t know how to construct a useful wooden box or fix a toilet, or change a lightbulb? Students are so deep and focused in their studies that they often times forget there’s an outside world. Once they’re left to face it alone, will they be ready?

    Another thing I would like to point out is Chris said all of these sweat and tears are worth it; I mean, nothing else beats being accepted to Harvard or Berkeley right? But…all of that is at the cost of your own happiness and health. The sleepless nights, grueling headaches, tight stomach aches, continuous anxieties..are they worth it? You sacrificed so many social events with dear families and friends to do AP Bio or AP Chem homework. Would you regret doing so looking back five years down the line?
    But here’s this: If all you have ever wanted was to be dedicated to schoolwork without regards to anything else, keep doing what you’re doing. If that emptiness deep within you is telling you something isn’t right, stop and listen to it. Slow down the pace of your life a bit. Take time to enjoy every moment you have and truly be happy. Life isn’t all about work; it’s about sharing memories, creating substance with the things you do, helping others, and being the best you can be.

    1. I totally agree Michelle, life is about creating moments. And you brought up an interesting point: for some, those sleepless nights and headaches might be worth it. But in my life right now, I’m wondering if those moments are really worth it? I guess time will tell.

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