They tell us to be ourselves

Unless, of course, you happen to be odd

In that case, maybe you should learn to act right

You’re just trying to be special

No one cares

About your silly little fantasy


They tell us to pursue our dreams

Unless those dreams are deemed frivolous

No, you need to find something real to do with your life

Some things should be hobbies

You can’t make a living out of that


Grow up

Decide a major

A college

A life plan

Write scholarships


Don’t forget your schoolwork


Watch out

Others are watching

Colleges are watching

Employers are watching

You can’t slip up now

Not when your whole life hangs in the balance

Don’t cause a fuss

It’s not good for college applications


What do you mean,

you don’t have time?

You should learn better time management skills

You shouldn’t indulge

In frivolous time wasters

Like art




Don’t get involved in your passion

Do what colleges like to see

Make sure you have leadership positions

Keep your grades up

Participate in extracurriculars

They need to be diverse

And relate to your field of study

Get work experience

Excell at standardized tests

Take plenty of AP classes


They tell us all these things

As if they were easy

As if they were possible

And they wonder

Why we can’t seem to do anything right

Why we burn out by senior year

Why we escape online, to books, to television

Why we respond with such frustration

Such confusion

Such anger.


It’s because

You told me to be myself

And I don’t know who that is anymore.


I do know

I am 9 out of 273

I am a 4.173 GPA

I am a 33 ACT


And apparently

That’s all that matters.



Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741