@Learning: Where Did our Love Go? | Letter From an Editor

Art by WRITTEN CITIZEN Founding Editor-in-Chief Zoe Gilligan
Dear Citizens,

When I say September, of what do you think? Some think of hell (otherwise known as school), some of Vogue, and others of fall and pumpkin lattes. While I relate to all of the above, I can't help but really dread "hell". Just like every other student, right? Here's the thing: I actually used to love school. That's right — I, the one who constantly curses everything and anything school-related — actually adored school. I loved learning and writing down these foreign concepts to try and understand them. I just loved figuring things out. Now? I'm tired, and I have no interest in any subjects at school. You could say that school "cramps my style."
   Like most people my age, I want to break free of these binding chains they call school and standardized testing, and just get out into the world and see. I want to see everything, and I want to feel it. Personally, I want to be anonymous in a new city — not be pointed out and labelled in cramped high school halls — and for once, study subjects about which I want to learn, and do things in my own way, on my own. I'm the creative type, constantly coming up with new ideas, writing, sewing, cutting, pasting, etc., and school — mine, in particular — that has few electives which do not really nurture my type, can seem quite handicapping, in some ways.
   So the question I beg here is how the hell can high school be of any help to my aspirations?
   High school. It seems like a world in itself. To a freshman Zoe, it seemed like the end of the world. My world. My world of love for learning and creating; for forming my own ideals and molding my own opinions. And in a way, it was the end. During my current high school experiences, I've always had teachers with biases who take it out on you for having differing opinions. I have teachers who pick favorites, and others who just don't care, don't know a thing about the subjects they're teaching, and teachers who just don't know how to teach. Some act like friends, and others act as strict as members of the Gestapo. Point is, high school hasn't necessarily been peachy for me, but is it really for the majority?
   As I'm entering my junior year this school year, I challenge not only myself, but you too, Citizens, to step up when it comes to school, to put everything behind you, and truly learn. Sure, there are obvious and apparent setbacks, and high school itself really does kind of suck, but these are our formative years, and it's vital we instill the importance of good work ethics, especially regarding academics and career opportunities. Very boring and stale, I know, but it will all be worth it somehow, someday. I swear. (Except for algebra.) It's just a matter of opening ourselves up to hard-work and its gratification. Besides, if we're always working hard, won't hard-work seem like a "normal" work ethic?
   For those who stress over the social aspects of high school, just forget about it. High school isn't a country club. It's a place where you fry your brain for four years of your life, and then you're gone. So don't sweat it! You'll be out before you know it. And once you are, high school probably won't even register in the back of your mind. It is but a blip in the grand scheme of things.
   So, Citizens — open yourselves up to the possibilities of learning again. Rekindle your young curiosity. Don't be afraid to speak up, whether it regards questions or unjust matters. Find a way to personalize your means of learning because what the hell! Take your education — your future — into your hands. Do it for yourself.

xxx Zoe Gilligan

Founding Editor-in-Chief

PS. Wish me luck on my SATs this year!

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