Our Adolescents Deserve an Easy and Happy Life
I’m confused, and I’m only 16 years old. I don’t know how to soothe or comfort my counterpart, my cousin who has lost her best friend lately. I don’t know what to do or what to say in case I would smash my cousin’s heart again. All I can tell her is, ‘Sis, she hasn’t really gone with wind. She has become your angel and you should feel happy for her because she’s got rid of hardship and everything she wasn’t willing to bear…’ but I know, it’s not true...
Because of the heavy burden of the study and the stress from her family, my cousin’s best friend ended her young and promising life by throwing herself into the wind from the top of the building at the age of 17… Those adolescent-commit suicide things are no longer fresh to me, a high school student in China, but I was still quite shocked when I learned this. What a small world! The instant I heard the news, I reckoned this must have broken my sweetest cousin’s heart…
Because of the overwhelming and tough schoolwork or complicated relationships, some teens of my age or even younger, choose to relieve themselves by ending their life so young! Even myself, I have to admit that when sometimes I was choked by my stressful life, the idea of committing suicide would pop into my mind…
Some of you would judge these things as bizarre teenagers’ emotional or psychological problem, but what if these are not just popular among some students, but almost the whole students?
In my country, if you can be accepted by a key university, that’s when your happy life starts. I was raised under this kind of concept. My country has put much great emphasis on elementary education. And so my harsh life and nightmares have been unavoidable.
In my country, there is no ‘Lower grade, happier life’ thing. Even the pupils in primary schools, they also have tough questions which are a little beyond their ability. Then the consequence is they have no time to spare for their own hobbies. Children need to play! Naive childhood and teenage should be full of laughter, passion, ambition, and confidence. They are precious times. College time should make us to taste the hardship of life and the cruelness of ‘Fittest survive’. Children and adolescents do need some difficulties, but too much hardship of life would only make them consider life is horrible and make them cynical.
I know the competition in the society is fierce, the stress and unhappiness is intolerable but unavoidable. Let the adults and the capable ones face these, not our children and adolescents! We have our own problems, but definitely not these! We should care about our study, but when it’s related to future jobs or important life turning-points, it’s overdone. Marks cannot decide your life!
I’m not trying to be sarcastic; I’m just trying to call for an easy and happy life for ourselves before we face the true hard life in front of us. For my cousin’s friend’s sake and for every young and promising life’s sake, please, relieve us and we deserve an easy and happy life!
– 16-year-old from China (male)
This entry is part of a series of essays and messages from the publication "Adolescence - Beyond the Stereotypes" - written, compiled and edited by adolescents and young people themselves with support from Voices of Youth and UNICEF.