Lili is a peer minister at Saint Joan of Arc and a Junior at Open World Learning School in Saint Paul.
The recent events, such as the attempted coup at the capital, are mind blowing for some people. But for kids my age, it doesn't seem that much different than any other week. This statement is not meant to say that these aren't important events. Many of us are horrified by what happened, and angered by the stark comparisons in police and public reactions to this summer's peaceful BLM protests. But we've lived through so many “where were you?” moments that we've almost become numb to them.
With the MANY police killings, the school shootings, and the pandemic shutting down schools and beloved activities, we've lived through what the adults like to tell us is “history.” It may sound cool that in 20 years we’ll be able to tell our kids that we've lived through what is in their history books. Right now it's exhausting.
It's scary to watch as so many injustices happen, but at the end of the day, we're still kids. We expected to be worried about who we're going to the prom with and what we got on our math tests, not if our democracy is going to fall apart and how much longer our planet is going to be habitable. So how do we cope with all of this?
This summer, when the weather was warm and we weren’t responsible for keeping our grades up, we were able to spend our time working toward justice by going to protests and doing community service. Now that it’s cold and we have to worry about our grades again, finding time for these kinds of things is harder and harder. While we want to be activists and fight for what we believe in, we already have to deal with typical high school struggles, and these events can be really saddening. Personally, when I am feeling particularly overwhelmed about these things, I try to throw myself into things that I can control like school work or athletics. Although this can be effective for a while, pushing away these feelings only lets the guilt build.
What does that guilt mean? That guilt is calling us to do more than we're doing, to find a balance between our desire for a “normal” highschool experience and the action we are called to take as a part of a greater community.
Our youth at SJA have amazing things to say. Our goal is to give them a platform to share their thoughts on topics they want to talk about. Their thoughts are uniquely theirs. From politics to faith, school issues to our church, this blog shares their voices with our community.