When I was young, the world was a different place, at least for me. Maybe it was the same for others, but I can’t speak to that. When I was a kid, before I went to school for the first time, the world was a wonderful place. I was going to be friends with everyone. It never entered my mind that anyone I knew would ever break the law. America was the best country in the world, with the most freedoms, and the most money. When I turned 16, I would get a car because when you’re 16, you can drive. I would get an electric car, because the environment is important. I would help out my parents by taking cans and bottles to the dump to be recycled.
When I got older, I would go to the best college in the world because I would get straight A’s. After I graduated from college #1 in my class, I would marry the girl of my dreams and we would buy a house and have kids. I would invent something amazing and we would become rich. Then, I would become president, and give food to poor people. I would explain to all of the other leaders in the world how silly killing people is, and they would understand and everyone would be friends.
That is literally how my mind worked when I was a kid. One by one, throughout the years, every single one of my beliefs has been proven wrong. Every concept has turned out to be a misconception.
Most of the people that I’m friends with do at least one of the following things: steal, drink (underage), smoke cigarettes (underage), drugs, etc. In fact, most of the kids in the school that I go to do all of those things. Logically, one would think that the teachers would be some kind of a guiding influence, but this is not the case. Incompetence in teachers at my school is so prevalent that even the hungover half-baked students that they’re teaching notice it. Teachers are lazy. A lot of the time, some teachers don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. Some teachers grade homework assignments as 100% if they get it passed in. A lot of the students at my school don’t bother to pass in their homework.
America is at war with an idea. It sent in troops and invaded a country who’s people didn’t want them to be there. The national debt is skyrocketing by the day. Politicians lie, and cheat. People manipulate the voting system so that they can vote more than once. The government is spying on its citizens. Suspicious people are sent to Cuba. People in prisons are tortured. Soldiers aren’t receiving proper medical care. People hate the president, and people are saying that the president should be impeached. There was a hurricane, and people were left homeless, and it took days until help arrived.
Gas is expensive. Cars are too, but are more expensive if you don’t want to use gas, and want to try to stop the environment from heating even more, melting the polar ice caps, and causing more islands to disappear beneath the ocean. Since gas is so expensive, we stopped going to the dump as often as we did, and a lot of people have done the same.
School turned out to be harder than it seemed at first. We are all products of our environment, and to fit in I became like my friends. The only thing that distinguished me last year from a stoner was that I’ve never used illegal drugs. Also, it turns out that girls are a lot more complicated. On closer inspection, it’s a lot harder to do what you want to do and say what you want to say to someone that you care about. Fear of failure can be more repelling than the worst phobias a person can have.
Everything is not the candy-covered sugar-coated fantasy that it once seemed to be. The people you once thought you could trust can’t be trusted. The things you thought you could rely on are lies. I guess this is part of growing up, but no one ever told me that my innocence would die.