Rant & Rave

Tuesday, February 23, 1999

School years preparation
for life’s demands

By Kenny Patton


What are challenges? Challenges are any task that calls for special effort and action. In my life I've faced a lot of challenges, some more troublesome than others.

One continuing challenge involves getting good grades so that I can pass this year and graduate from high school. School has always been a test for me. When I was younger I was easily distracted (I'm not saying that I am not now). I was not really motivated in doing my work or anything else. If I did not find a subject interesting, I did not really pay attention.

Now I'm still kind of the same; I have to push myself to do the work in those classes I find boring. I am trying to do all my work early and turn my work in on time. I also try to find something interesting about whatever the teacher is talking about, even if I don't really like the subject. I'm meeting these challenges with sheer will and determination.

Beginning with my freshman year at Kaiser, staying awake during school has also been a huge problem for me. Because I live so far away from the school, I have to go to bed early so I can get up early to catch the bus. I've had to train myself to sleep early so I don't feel tired during the day.

Activities eat up time

Another difficulty I had this year revolved around football. All the players have to practice long, tiring hours and they get home really late. Now, I know how that feels. We practiced five days a week and out of those days we had at least three long practices.

When I got home I felt I was too tired to do anything, yet I knew I had English homework still in my bag, waiting to be completed. I knew that if I didn't do my homework I'd get a bad grade and I wouldn't be able to play anymore. So I end up staying up really late trying to finish up all my work just so I can make grades to play another day, but still getting enough sleep so I'll stay awake during class and catch the bus on time.

Peers tempt you

In addition to schoolwork there are a lot of other challenges that teen-agers face, like peer pressure. Peer pressure is all around us everyday. A lot of teen-agers meet people asking them to smoke or do drugs or stir up trouble. People tell them to do it or they're not cool, but teen-agers have to stay away from these people.

For example, one day this person that I thought was my friend started to do some bad things like smoking. I didn't really think of it that much until that day when he asked me to smoke. When he asked me I was shocked and surprised. It didn't take very long to say no.

He kept on trying to get me to smoke by calling me names that made me mad at first, but I knew I was right and I was the better person.

I was afraid that I had lost a friend, but the next day he came up to me and told me that he was sorry for putting me in that situation and for calling me those names. After that I felt really good about myself and also really proud for what I did.

This problem allowed me to face more serious decisions with peers.

I feel that we will have many challenges in life, so we should face all of them in hope that we may learn something that helps us deal with even more difficult challenges later on.

You shouldn't run away from any of your challenges because if you start running away from them now, you will be running for the rest of your life.

Kenny Patton attends Kaiser High School.
Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
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