Traverse City Record-Eagle

Generation Why

August 3, 2010

High school should have been tougher

I'm not even close to being ready for the real world

Challenges faced at Central … adversity? Well, the problem is there really hasn't been any. Yeah, maybe inconveniences, there may be a lousy day in there where I missed the alarm clock and then my movie plans fell through. Maybe I scored low on a test and then got lectured in my next class about not having a title on my essays, but Central isn't a place of hardship. I mean, you've got to hand it to them, you can pretty much sit in the corner of this joint and get some kind of award.

And so in the corner I've been sitting, getting my awards. Looking out that classroom window: wow, so that's the real world out there, right?

Now, I'm not writing one of those condescending get-off-your-ass-and-man-up type of papers. Honestly, I don't know what exactly is out there, there's no way to; it's going to be different for each of us. What I will guarantee with absolute certainty is that the real world is nothing like the cradle we've been living in, hell, I'll even throw in a pinky-promise. There's not that lenient late paper policy that I've been milking, that's for sure. There are certainly no extra credit crosswords regardless of your line of work. And grades? You're either "passing" in the workplace or you're on the street. No disappointing mid-mark sent home to mom, and cell-phone privileges revoked for the weekend.

OK, sure, you've heard this lecture from your teachers a thousand times, from your parents 10 thousand, but at least from my perspective that's a lot of change they're asking for. So, I didn't get the most amazing grades in my day. In fact, there's likely 10 teachers out there scoffing when I say, if there was one thing about Central that I could change, I would make it harder. I would make it three times harder, 10 maybe.

There's no way I'm ready for the real world yet. Give me back my window seat, just let me sit here a little longer.

Kirk Rasmussen graduated from Traverse City Central High School in June. This essay was part of his senior exam.

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