Slow Down, You Crazy Child

  1. I love ‘Golden Oldie’ songs and one of my favourites (that I often replay in my head) is ‘Vienna’ by Billy Joel. I have decided to use the lyrics to ‘set the scene’ of this perspective article. I am still learning about life myself, and often feel like I am making things up along the way. I am passionate about the students at WCC and wanted to share my perspective on what you might be going through at these ages and stages. 

“Slow down – you crazy child, you’re so ambitious for a juvenile, But then if you’re so smart, tell me why are you still so afraid”  

One time or another we all catch ourselves thinking we wish we were a little bit older, a little better at certain subjects, that we would look a certain way, or that we had a different set of circumstances. Today, with the ‘giant’ that is social media, we overload on and compare our lives to other people. We are often in such a rush to grow up that we forget about the here and now – we are almost afraid to live and try things when we are young in fear of what others will think of us. 

Some commonly used terms I have heard at the College that sparked some thoughts for this article are ‘Sweat’ and ‘Sweaty’. While one might think this is being used to describe the intensity of my PE classes, the term is used by people to insult others for simply… trying their best. 

I know this term is commonly associated with Gaming and being deemed ‘Sweaty’ is a term of working so hard that you sweat, and my question is – is that a bad thing? 

Is it a bad thing to show your passions? 

Is it a bad thing to showcase your gifts/talents and succeed? 

The biggest head-scratcher for me is why do we cast shade on people for having a go at the things that they love or are good at? Better yet- why are we afraid to showcase the things that we might be good at? 

Ask yourself, Why are you so afraid? Why is it not cool to try? What could happen if I do try? Is it because people will not take you seriously if you have an ounce of confidence? Is it fear of failure? 

Admittedly, High School is a place where many face the most judgment they will ever face in their life. But it is also a huge opportunity where you can actually express yourself and you have the opportunity to make mistakes, fail and try again. It is a time to learn who you are as a person and people need to remind themselves that they are all running their own race 

If you don’t want to take this risk, then at least don’t get in the way of those who are doing this – learn something from them! 

“Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter, don’t mind” 

“Slow down – you’re doin’ fine, you can’t be everything you want to be before your time… Too bad, but it’s the life you lead, you’re so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need, though you can see when you’re wrong you know you can’t always see when you’re right” 

I won’t deliver the “Life is easy as a kid. Wait until you’re an adult and then life gets boring and hard” message because truthfully, life can be really great no matter what age you are. We can’t be everything we want all at once and it is quite cool how life is designed that way. 

What I would suggest is that we take Ferris Buller’s advice: “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around for a while, you might miss it”. Imagine being 25 and looking back at your life now… What things did you miss out on doing because you were afraid to try or afraid of what people may think if you do? We can really miss out on life and the things we need to experience right now.  

If we flip the coin and look at the comments or judgments, we might make on others trying to live out their life, what joy does that bring us? 

Does it satisfy our ego to cut someone down for trying? 

Do we want to be perceived as the person that projects that energy onto people? 

What life are you leading day to day, week to week, year to year? 

Can we actually hold the mirror up to ourselves and say you know what, I was out of line there and I want to reach out to that person and support them in their success. 

 “Slow down, you crazy child, and take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while”  

Not to sound like a Boomer, but you don’t have to throw your phone away forever, or literally for that matter! Throwing the phone off the hook could be as simple as taking a breath, trying something new, or celebrating someone. Have a realistic think, do you control your phone, or does it control you? This can be the root of many of our comparisons and fear of trying. 

Once you have looked at how you’re tracking in life, you can begin to make those changes or maintain positive actions and attitudes that you have for yourself and other people.  

Think about building your metaphorical day/week/month/year in the life ‘tool kit’. What are you going to fill your time with to fulfil yourself? How are you going to treat others that you come across in your day? 

Don’t make year 12 the first time you try something, you are valuable, you have gifts and talents, find your drive, and stick at something. 

Instead of calling people sweats – get sweaty! 

To segue slightly – I always think of that movie ‘About Time’ when I get the YOLO vibes (if you haven’t seen it, it is a must-watch). If we live out our days worrying about what tomorrow holds or what people think of us, we really don’t leave much room in the day to celebrate life and what a joy it is.  


*This article was written as a part of Teacher Takeover.