Her eyelids flutter like the wings of a butterfly, threatening to close. They get heavier and heavier, yet she pushes through. Half awake and half asleep she does her best to prepare for the following day. Still, no matter how hard she tries, she can’t remember what she just read. In one ear and out the other. Day after day, week after week.
In today’s society there is especially one thing that people, in particular the younger generations, struggle with, namely the pressure to be perfect. It is common knowledge that you should be good looking, healthy and successful, both in your private and your public life. Speaking of private life, does that exist anymore, now that people share pictures on Instagram, their life story on Facebook and their thoughts on Twitter? The pictures and stories from magazines and the internet reach us every day, adding to the pressure, not letting us relax. Being the perfect student, the perfect employee and the perfect girlfriend/ boyfriend is more than a fulltime job. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Look your best and do your best.
You can say what you want to yourself, suppressing the signals from your body. In the end, however, you reach a point where you cannot push your limits any further. There is a point when the body shuts down and refuses to be abused. Reaching that limit is a terrible thing, as you no longer feel in control of your body. From being able to always pay attention, you can fall asleep in class as you no longer sleep during the night. The concentration is gone and it feels as though your brain is full, yet so empty. Walking around constantly stressed and in panic mode leaves you with a tunnel vision. There is simply no way to collect yourself in time to access the part of your brain that stores the facts for your test. Just imagine what it feels like to have your heart pounding at every sound, as if you are about to be attacked. Simultaneously, imagine what it feels like to be so tired that you cannot sleep, only focus on a spot on the wall.
Pressure is something that can challenge people and help them to grow as a person. Yet, when the pressure gets so big that it crushes even the stronger ones, it is time to react. We can only take so much, people are not perfect, and it is time to accept that. School is meant to prepare us for what comes later on in life. However, the focus has shifted from achieving new knowledge to testing students so often that they have no way of learning everything they are supposed to. Am I the only one who does not get the point in removing the joy of learning, only to replace it with stress and more pressure? It is not accidental that young people get burnt- out before they even reach the proper work life. Students are expected to do well at school, be social and look their best, alongside having a job. And grownups call us a lazy generation?
She looks at her paper, but the numbers and words do not make any sense. Her eyes get wet and tears come streaming silently down her face. In order to feel like she is doing something productive, she starts to draw on the other side of the test. It is simply too much to handle. She is too tired to think.
When you try your best but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse
And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you