For the class of 2023 and below, there has been a seemingly never ending stream of natural disasters and freak “once in a lifetime” events that have made up our entire lifetime. From the unsettling fire truck sirens and newscasts on wildfires we have listened to since birth, the fatal mudslides of 2017, and perhaps the most disruptive to “normalcy”, the COVID-19 pandemic, it feels like there has never been a real “normal” time in our lives.
With the introduction of social media and technology there is always an inescapable news headline blaring in our ears: Queen Elizabeth II dies, Tropical Storm Kay hits SoCal with rain and intense winds, Major Injuries in Suspected DUI Crash. It’s easy to feel like we are always living in “unprecedented times,” (as we were reminded over and over again during the pandemic.) I think we have all gone through the phase of “wishing you were born in another era.” But if you look back, there has never been a “normal” time in history. There are always new challenges and struggles: minority groups being repressed, political turmoil and natural disasters. It is the same now as it was back then. It is just that now in 2022 we have every world problem and drama shoved down our throats through a flick of our thumb.
As an active consumer of information, a fellow Don, and editor-in-chief of The Forge, I am aware of this overwhelming amount of information we are fed every day through social media, newscasts, and the internet in general. It makes life hard to get through, feeling like everywhere you look there is another problem in the world that needs solving. But I challenge you, dear reader, to make the most of the time you have here.
If you are unhappy with the way the world is now, change it. If you don’t want to change it, enjoy it the way it is. Life is short and high school is even shorter. As we enter a new school year and all the usual back to school feelings begin: the first home football game, a new crush in your chemistry class, another back to school cold and, inevitably, another COVID scare, stressful political headlines and a looming climate crisis, let’s remember that we have the power to enjoy or to change it for the better.
If you turn off your phone and look around, Santa Barbara High School is looking pretty good for the 2022-2023 school year. We are able to be here, see our friends, and talk to our teachers. Seniors have the opportunity to look at colleges and freshmen have the opportunity to ride their e-bikes. Even with this seemingly never-ending stream of disasters and blaring headlines, it doesn’t change the fact that we are lucky to be here attending another school year at Santa Barbara High School. Not everyone has that chance, so let’s honor that and take advantage of this school year!