Students And Their Expectations For The Future

A+view+of+South+Mountain.+Taken+in+the+afternoon%2C+in+a+valley+covered+partially+by+shadows.

Photo Courtesy of Cooper Brown

A view of South Mountain. Taken in the afternoon, in a valley covered partially by shadows.

Cooper Brown, Photographer

My father and I are avid hikers. From a young age I have been hiking; it has served as a tradition on my dad’s side of the family for generations. Hiking helps people learn patience and self-discipline, along with the ability to willingly exert oneself to accomplish a task or goal. These are values that carry into the many aspects of our lives and can’t be learned staring at screens for hours on end every day. And unfortunately many kids are deprived of these values, so many, in fact, that it has almost become the norm to just overtly express your discontent with school and teenage drama issues instead of actually dealing with what you have to do.

We have a problem of inaction and general whining among today’s younger generation, who don’t realize, until after they pass through the threshold and into adulthood, that their little discomforts with amount of homework, tests, and having to wake up early for school, is all slim in comparison to the struggles they may face the rest of their life.  I have a recent story from my life that inspired some of these feelings.

I woke up early, before the sun made its way to the horizon, and before my neighbors had awoken. I then went to my mountain, following trails illuminated by the moon. As I crossed this sleeping land and marveled at how drastic a change takes place in the desert at night, I saw my challenge approach and arrived at the base of the dark, looming mass of rock and dirt called South Mountain. I reached the top and was struck with a realization as I gazed towards the south. Hundreds upon hundreds of glowing lights, drifting up Interstate 10. All people on the road, to a job they most likely don’t enjoy, just so they can feed themselves and maybe a family at 5:30 a.m. While students will complain about being somewhere besides their bed anytime before 10 a.m. our generation – my generation – needs a reality check. If we can’t get through school without complaining everyday, how will we ever find fulfillment in an increasingly stressful society?