Ahh, high school. Thinking back to those years brings both a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. Even though it hasn't exactly been years since I left, it certainly feels like it. I learnt a lot of things in high school that I thought were "the law" at the time, and I don't mean physics laws in the classroom. Little did I know, I would be debunking those laws myths pretty soon.
1. Popularity is vital.
At school, popularity was like currency, there were the rich, and there were the poor. For some reason, the rich deserved more respect (or fear) than the poor. As a kid, I didn't even realise that popularity wasn't even real! It was just a self perpetuating2) thing that people made up in their minds, projected onto others, who lived up to3) expectations. It blew up4) people's egos5) and made others feel inadequate6). Luckily, I wasn't on either end of the scale and I lived those years manoeuvring7) myself around the middle of it. If only I could go back now and tell everyone to stop being so silly and just be themselves.
2. You will only have "made it" when you have a house / car / pool etc.
The process goes like this: go to school, get a degree, get a good job, earn good money, buy a big house, buy a big car, then buy as much as you can = live a good life. Well, that's what we're taught. I don't want to criticise the school system (too much) here, but that's exactly what it is, a system. Like a factory, we go through one end and come out the other. They tell us all the same thing and hope we get on with it. Then they measure their success by how much we can buy fifteen years later. I guess that's how there are many more (over-)consumers in the world than there are minimalists8).
3. Grades are everything.
Yes, grades do matter, but they're not the be-all and end-all9) of everything. You need good grades if you're planning to go to university and get a degree, which, even in this internet centered, entrepreneurial10) world, I still think is relevant. However, you don't need to burn yourself out and sacrifice everything to get top grades and you don't need to bring your self confidence down if you don't get what you want either. Just doing your best and keeping a balance is enough.
4. The lone star shines bright.
We used to be told that it was important to stand out whenever we can. That's when you see head cheerleaders, class reps11), student body leaders, sports captains and the lot12). A lot of this is a good thing; we learn to be independent and we build up our individuality.
However, sometimes the idea of individual merit13) is pushed so hard that teamwork, humility and fairness is often forgotten. Even when we have to work in teams, a lot of us still strive to either take over, lead the team, or take as much credit as possible. When we're older, we toot our own horns14) as loud as we can to show others what we've accomplished. It's not our fault completely, but sometimes we care more about ourselves than the project at hand or the bigger picture. I think the product of a team is much more than the sum of all the individuals, no matter how great they think they are.
5. This is how life is going to be.
I remember coming out of several boring years of high school thinking, "Oh my goodness, my life is going to suck15)." But, I quickly realised that high school has basically nothing to do with real life. Yes you learn a couple of things, but most of the academic stuff you learnt you'll never use again. Plus, high school doesn't foreshadow16) how you'll perform for the rest of your life. Once you leave for university, you'll have a chance to start again, to be whoever you want to be. You can debunk all these myths and change the way you live and think.
Okay okay, high school wasn't all that bad. Yes, it seemed to drag on17) but most importantly, I made some great friends, some of whom I have a feeling I will still be having occasional chats with twenty years from now.
High school, and university for that matter, is what you make of it, and after debunking these negative myths from high school, I wish you have the best university years to come.
1. debunk [di:5bQNk] vt. 揭穿……的吹嘘(或虚假等)
2. perpetuate [pE:5petjueIt] vt. 使永久,使永恒;使长存;保持
3. live up to: 符合;不辜负(期望)
4. blow up: <口> 放大
5. ego [5i:^EJ] n. 自我中心;自负;自尊心
6. inadequate [In5AdIkwEt] adj. 不适当的;不够格的;不能胜任的;不充分的
7. manoeuvre [mE5nu:vE(r)] vi. 设法调整
8. minimalist [5mInImElIEt] n. 最低限要求者
9. be-all and end-all: <口> 根本,主要因素,全部;终极目标;顶点
10. entrepreneurial [7CntrEprE5nErIEl] adj. 企业家的
11. rep [rep] n.<口> 代表
12. the lot: 全部,整个儿
13. merit [5merIt] n. 功绩,功劳
14. toot one's own horn: 自吹自擂
15. suck [sQk] vi. 显得糟糕;令人极不愉快,令人讨厌
16. foreshadow [fC:5FAdEu] vt. 预示;是……的预兆
17. drag on: 拖延;使拖延