"The Real World"

October 7, 2010
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“It will get a lot tougher when you get to the real world”. How many times have I heard that- this week? Well, once just now, a couple times yesterday, at least five the day before… you get the point. You know, once, I asked my teacher, “What do you mean- the ‘Real World’?”- I got sent out in the hall for inappropriate conduct. WTF?!?!? I just wanted to know a simple answer!!! But seriously, what do you mean, Mom? Dad? Mr. M? What is this mysterious “Real World” that you keep talking about? Its not taxes- children understand and feel the effects of those when they are very young. I know its not having to manage money; isn't a mortgage just like saving for a new outfit, just on a much larger scale? A job can’t be too much harder than 3 hours of homework as well as two sports, a league team, and 7 hours of school. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not belittling the adult world, and I'm not saying its not a lot different from ours. What I am saying is, why is it that people assume that as soon as we get out of high school, were going to die a slow painful death because we didn't do one assignment in 8th grade?

When I get out of middle school, I am going to be in the IB (International Baccalaureate) program in a school rated in the top 10 high schools in the US. The IB is notorious for loading on somewhere around 3 times the work of other schools; by the time I am in 10th grade I will be taking all college classes. While I am there I am going to do basketball, swimming, and clubs all four years. I will excel in all my classes, simply because I need the recommendations. No scholarship, in my family, means no college. I will get a Masters majoring in Astronomy, and minoring in Astrophysics. I know what hard work is. I know how money is tight. I know perfectly well, Sir and Ma’am, how it feels to lay awake at night worrying about whether or not you will have power in the morning because you couldn’t pay the bill. I know what it is like to live from paycheck to paycheck, and shopping for me means store brands from the sale rack at Target. I can assure you, when that idiot preacher was going to burn the Koran, kids around the world were wanting to kick him somewhere just as much as adults. I can assure you, if they bomb another monument, kids will die just as quickly as adults.

So, what is the real world, then? Is there some new horror coming that only adults know about? Trust me, kids have their secrets to. Even psychology experts said, in a poll by the Times Union, that 62% of children suffer from enough stress to send the average adult into a panic attack. And we don’t know what the real world is like. Mr Mac, Momma, Dad, we are living it. Every day we live in your world- by your rules. So don’t say we aren’t prepared, and don’t say we are rude for telling you we know. We do, and we are. Get over it.

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Bethani said...
Dec. 28, 2010 at 10:46 pm
Some of us have a hard time in school so we feel this phrase is even more annoying. I have a learning disability so it takes me 3x the time most students do to get homework done. I understand your pain. 
singergurl12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 1, 2011 at 9:57 am
wow well even I can't say I deal with that- you are really strong and I wish you luck in everything, Bethani.
toxic.monkey said...
Oct. 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm
hey. i'm just commenting to say i think you're really strong and I hope you get everywhere that you wish to get. i'm in the IB for all of this school year already but we're only starting to feel it:) i agree that adults tend to underestimate the younger generation.
singergurl12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 12:20 pm


YES- pretty much the entire POINT of this is not to underestimate us! Thank you SO SO much- you to, and bonus points for being perceptive enough to realise what is wrong with how children are veiwed. Yes, i am a child. Yes, I am only 13 years old. But we are strong- stronger than anyone realises! Thank you, and good luck to you as well, my friend!

Devedrus said...
Oct. 12, 2010 at 5:31 pm
I have a question for you- have you ever been somewhere without any family or close friends with adults you barely knew and likely had no training in what they were doing, telling you to do things that seemed totally pointless, and you have no certainty that you on't be stranded 50+ miles from home? This is what adults mean by "The Real World". Most don't live in it themselves, and it quite literally has a completely different atmosphere. No matter how much school you go to (we go 6 hours, BTW) ... (more »)
singergurl12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm

#1- yes. many times.

#2- thats kind of what i meant- very few know themselves what they mean by "the real world".

#3- yes case, i know how many hours of school we have. thats why its called a story. deal with it.

singergurl12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm
thanks though- you know i love reviews ;)
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