Alright, my sweatpants-clad, coffee-stained, tired, stressed and all around tired Cobbers, this week is almost over. One day we will all look back on this and laugh, but right now, instead of laughing, we are tired. The word seems almost innocuous, but at least for me, it is the only word that aptly describes how I feel. While usually I have a pretty sunny disposition, it is always at the ends of things I get a bit of ennui. I am annoyed with myself, having spent the semester playing around and not doing enough. I am annoyed with how short four years seems. I am annoyed with the fact that there seems to be only two tracks for life: have a job and be boring, or do not and be weird.
This is my last “before Christmas” article, and as such, I am a bit weirded out. I am creeping ever so closely to the dreaded date of graduation. I keep making mental lists of what I do and do not have. I have a job, I have friends, I have fun. I do not have a plan or anything else. I have Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, Hulu, Netflix, a mental dossier of pictures, gifs, shows, movies, actors, characters, story arcs and Twitter comedians, who could express my feelings better than me, at my disposal in a file labeled “cans and cannots.” I could recite to you spells from “Harry Potter” and “The Vampire Diaries.” Am I slightly concerned for myself? Yes. But one day I will get there.
“They” call our generation — the Millennials — lazy, unappreciative, waiting and driven by technology. I think they are wrong. Maybe I am biased, but I have never met a person here with those traits. I see a school and community full of kids who are passionate, scared, fiery and in tune with each other. I love that at our school, while we have our differences, there is an overarching theme of understanding because we coexist. I may not be anywhere near the same as you, but I hope to the ends of the earth you get what you want, because that means one more person in the world is making it better. We are waiting for someone to give us the reigns, someone to tell us it is ok to just go for it. With the amount of connectivity we have with each other, we see others living their lives, and it becomes another Netflix original. They are living a different life than us, and we want that. It would not be nearly as interesting if we did not have friends with kids, husbands, wives, internships or tragedies that we do not have to participate in but get to watch with a strange, voyeuristic intent. We are trying to be the kids Mr. Rogers wanted us to be; we do not want to be anything like our parents, but we do. I think daily about what our generation will be called in fifty years, what our kids will wear on decade days to mock us in twenty, and what we will think of ourselves in ten. Maybe there is a weird fuzz around the holidays this year, because for once in my life I am taking off ten consecutive days to just be at home with a cat that hates me. I am going to hang out with my dad and his bleached Santa beard to learn something.
What I am getting around to in my strangely sad and existential way is that we have work to do. We have so much work to do, because while we feel young and unimportant, we cannot go on like that. We have to work for the world we are going to inherit, because if we do not, we do not deserve it.
Katelyn Henagin graduated from Pierz-Healy High School in 2010, and grew up in both Pierz and Worthington, Minnesota. She is graduating in 2014 with a Philosophy Major and a minor in Psychology. If you feel like talking to Katelyn, striking up a conversation about Harry Potter is always a good choice.