OPINION: Advantages do not excuse laziness

Jonathan McCollough | Staff Writer

We have had it easy.

We go to the kindest school in America, a National Blue Ribbon winner located in the seventh best place to live in the United States, according to Money Magazine. Our median household income was $94,758 in 2015, almost double Ohio’s median household income of $51,075. This is our normal. It is how we have learned to live inside our little bubble.

Despite how good we have it, we love to manufacture our own problems. We complain about homework, teachers, our peers, extracurriculars, and treat high school drama like it is the end of the world. We love to be victims, framing good people as bullies and harmless words as attacks.

This is not by any means exclusive to Mason, and definitely does not apply to all of our student body, but it is certainly prevalent. Whether you fall below the poverty line or belong to the richest one percent, attending Mason is a privilege because, as many of us already know and many more will soon realize, life in Mason is not normal.

I am not saying that students here at Mason are entirely shielded from the harsh realities of life, but gun violence and drug overdoses are a much smaller concern to most Masonites than college acceptance letters and prom dates seem to be.

This is not something to feel guilty about or be ashamed of. We did not choose to be born into a privileged life, and for many of our parents, that privileged life was earned through hard work. We cannot control where we were born or how much money our parents make. But there is one variable we can control: how hard we work.

Hard work is something many of us do not truly understand, myself included. Sure, we have a lot of AP classes and extracurriculars to keep up with, but the fact that those are our biggest struggles is evidence of our privilege.

Going to college is almost expected of us here at Mason, but that is not the case for most of America. According to the most recent U.S. Census information, only about 31 percent of Americans hold a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to more than 55 percent in Mason and 57 percent in Deerfield.

We won the parent lottery – they worked hard to get us here and now it’s our turn.

You are entitled to nothing and the only thing between where you are now and where you want to be is hard work. Being lazy will not move the needle and natural talent is not going to be enough either.

No matter what you do after high school, things are going to get harder and the passive attitude of just getting by will not cut it. If you want to make something out of yourself, you are going to have to work for it. Show up to every class on time, do your homework whether it’s graded or not, go to office hours and get extra help. Get a job, apply for internships, network and get yourself out there. Do not be passive, and do not waste the precious and limited resource of time.

Life is substantiated by whatever impact you can make while you are living it. So leave your mark, show the world what you are capable of. There is one thing you can do to almost guarantee you accomplish this.

Work harder.