We need to stop being lazy, quitting when things become difficult


illustration by Samantha Haney

Though we all deserve breaks, people have to persevere and work hard to achieve their goals. Students need to prepare for the real world by taking on challenges instead of going the easy route, especially as the next generation.

Juli Mejia, Editor In Chief

I’ve seen it happen so many times. Teenagers decide to try something new, dedicate their time and their energy to some activity, and then give up. Or even worse, the idea of something becomes a lot more exciting for a teenager than the actual activity itself, resulting in an exciting concept that was never brought to reality because they were too lazy. We’ve all been at that point where we want to lay on our beds and do absolutely nothing, but there’s a point when that line is crossed.

As the next generation, we have to stop being consumed by our temptations to do nothing. We have to stop being discouraged by the intimidating idea of working for something more than what we have. We have to stop giving up, and we have to start challenging ourselves. 

I am not speaking for every teenager. On the contrary, there are thousands of teenagers in the country who may even work too hard and are overachievers to prepare for the competitive environment in a top-tier college and beyond. Yet, it’s impossible to go through high school without noticing peers who couldn’t care less about their education, sports participation or anything else beyond their few unbeneficial interests. In a study done by OnePoll, 1,000 parents with school-aged kids (K–12) found that 80% of their children say they either dislike school or are bored at school. But why? Why are kids tired of learning, one of our most valued capabilities as people?

Though studies have shown that teenagers are getting lazy as a result of a lack of sleep or a lack of exercise, I believe another factor has to be considered—a lack of passion.

The St. Louis County community is notably affluent, meaning students here are more than likely to be growing up with the proper resources necessary to guarantee them success. Even our own district has a lot of merit as the 4th best district in Missouri, according to Niche. This should mean that students here are more likely to work hard, get good grades and be active members of the community. However, there are still those that have skipped class just because they didn’t feel like going. Over 200 kids even asked their parents to opt out of an event meant to instill school pride, the Winter Pep Assembly, to go home 45 minutes earlier. They didn’t even try to have school pride and be connected in the community.

 Students should feel encouraged to participate, especially because of the support systems teachers and staff members create for them. And unlike the many articles that don’t blame teenagers because of their parents or the internet or mental health issues or lack of nutrients or an addictive market—I do blame teenagers. 

I spent most of my freshman year not really caring about school. Of course, I still tried to do well in class, but there was nothing about it that really excited me. It was just like a larger middle school, and I’d rather spend my time joking around with my friends than going to club meetings or going above and beyond as a student. I’d go home every day that first semester and spend a minimum of two hours on my phone, go have dinner, and then go on my phone until I spent about 20 minutes doing homework before bedtime. It was an easy life, and I had no other reason to try anything new. Everything was at my fingertips, so there was no real reason to work harder than I wanted to. I wasn’t exactly a quitter, but I was also far from an initiator. This continued for about a year until I realized how little I actually contributed to myself while living this life.

By working the bare minimum, I was giving the absolute minimum of my abilities. It suddenly occurred to me that I was disappointing myself, my parents and the thousands of other people who would thrive under my circumstances. So, I found a way to motivate myself. It’s not an easy path of discovery, but I soon figured out I was passionate about writing stories and working for the News Production staff. I was lucky to get myself out of that funk that led to me becoming perseverent and taking the initiative in my day-to-day life, and I know a lot of people don’t get that same experience. 

But then there’s a lack of resilience. Even with the countless resources we have at our disposal to exploit and become the best versions of ourselves, a lot of students don’t seem to take true advantage of that chance. And, if they do try to excel and the subject matter gets too difficult for their liking, they quit without hesitation. I don’t want to diminish students who truly go through a difficult time, and I don’t expect all students to be at the same level academically. However, I’ve noticed how afraid our generation is of stress.

Frankly, being overwhelmed seems like a pass time for so many adolescents because they are unable to decipher good stress from bad. Bad stress is what people acknowledge, as any situation resulting in a bad situation or creating a potentially bad situation is what causes stress. Good stress is the kind of pressure that causes people to want to apply themselves and commit themselves even more to a challenge. Yet, it’s easier to call it quits than to play the rest of the game, and I really think a lot of people carry this mentality throughout their life. By being a quitter, a student is effectively not giving themselves room to grow and experience the world. Eventually, they’ll be hit by the scathing reality that quitters don’t succeed, but it’ll be too late at that point.

We are inevitably going to be distracted and bored and lazy. It’s human nature to rest, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The issue stems from students not having any motivation to work toward their achievements, and because of that, they give up on themselves and the people that depend on them. I believe this is the fatal flaw of the rising generation, and I think each person will go through a painful crash when discovering that the world doesn’t turn as easily outside of this perfect West County bubble.

Some people may not ever have to work for it, and some people were practically born ready to outshine the rest with their abilities to evade daily obstacles. But in the end, it doesn’t matter. Our generation is preparing for some of the most terrifying events that may encounter mankind, like Climate Change and technological dependency.

To be prepared, our generation has to be resilient. Just like my dad tells me every time I say I don’t want to do something, “Stop wanting to do something. Stop thinking about it entirely. Just do it. It’ll change your life.”