Hello Hilton, this is possibly what’s going on in your matric’s head. If you came here for enlightenment, you should probably stop reading now!
‘Point score 40…18 equals vote, drink, drive. I don’t want to be living with my parents forever…what goes on the X-axis again? Oh, right. Independent factor. I should do more cardio…I wonder if my YouTubers have uploaded anything…have I been referencing incorrectly this entire time? I think I eat too much junk…status. That SUCKS! Rand to dollar…#FeesMustFall. I feel really hot today. Ugh! Never mind, thanks selfie. Why won’t they look at me...why are they staring at me!? What if I just, like, dropped dead from an aneurysm or something right now…I should really clean out my room. If ‘oct’ means eight, then why is OCTober the tenth month of the year…Aaah! Finals. Grow up…enjoy being young. Application…National Benchmark…interview…does my voice really sound like that? What if I fail at existence? What is existence? Did she just hand that in a week early? Ya, I’m definitely slacking. Live in the moment…plan ahead. I’m OK…I’m freaking out! If I could choose a superpower, I think it would be to freeze time…why is this taking so long! I’m tired…I can’t sleep. Stop treating me like a child…I can’t handle all this responsibility! Aaaaaaarrrggh!’
The thought process of a South African matric student today makes Attention Deficit Disorder look linear. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m going to pretend that I can for simplicity’s sake. The period surrounding matric has always been a confusing one in people’s lives; the difference for this generation is that extreme-connectivity has condensed that confusion to a degree that feels frustratingly achievable yet frighteningly unsustainable. But still, we manage it. It’s managed us for so long that we feel obliged to return the favour.
We’re not lazy, we’re not shallow, we’re not neurotic and we’re not entitled; we’re the South African matric class of 2019. Hi, nice to meet you (presumably). We want to test our limits and we are excited about the future, but don’t expect us to jump up and down until we know how high the sky is. We’re passionate, but a little too cynical to fully believe that our passion is going to pay-out. We’re far-reaching, but perhaps a little short-sighted. We have big dreams and gargantuan realities. We store our thoughts in pixels, and sometimes forget where we put them. We get our faith and validation where we can because we know that they’re hard-to-come-by. We’re highly confident, with low self-esteem. The only thing we’re completely certain about is our uncertainty (have I mentioned that we’re confused, once or twice maybe?).
Don’t worry (too much), we’re not broken, we just haven’t got all our pieces together yet. Coming of age (whatever that means) in the new S.A. does present us with many problems, but it also provides us with a multitude of diverse, sometimes divergent pathways that will lead us to the solutions of those problems (whether they will be the right ones or not…I can’t say). It’s simply the navigation of those pathways that will be extremely challenging, maybe we could try GPS…
Submitted by Savannah Ingham, a Grade 12 pupil at school in Hilton.
Photo credit: Savannah Ingham