The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The Lack of Presence: an Issue Hidden by Societal Expectations

The start of the dreaded second semester of senior year has left me dreaming of spring break, graduation, summer vacations and college in the fall. It doesn’t help that my social media feeds are filled with posts depicting gorgeous beaches and bright colored fruit captioned “POV: it’s summer.”

Unfortunately, it’s still January, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

At this point in high school, it’s hard to focus on academics when there are so many more exciting things to look forward to. But all this thought about the future has limited my ability to function in the present, which is horrible timing because there are four more months left of school.

This lack of being in the present doesn’t just relate to my “senioritis” and is an issue I’ve seen in social media, too. When it’s summer, my feed contains a plethora of aesthetic fall videos, and when fall comes, I can’t escape the Christmas recipes.

Seeing these posts leaves me and the thousand others who double-tapped yearning for the next season when, two months ago, we were all wishing the current one would come sooner.

It shows how, as a society, we are constantly rushing to prepare for the future, but we don’t take the time to enjoy where we’re at in life now.

I’ve also noticed that many people around me prioritize taking videos and pictures when a memorable event happens. When looking at a crowd at a concert nowadays, it’s common to see thousands of phones pointing at the artist instead of people looking directly at them.

Although Gen Z is more inclined to whip out the phones at any given time, it seems to me that it’s genuinely because we want to capture a moment as a keepsake. That doesn’t mean the act still isn’t harmful to us.

Everyone wants to go back and re-live fun memories but looking through screens blocks our ability to pay attention to what’s going on in front of us. If creating these memories is valuable, shouldn’t the moment be remembered and not the action of videotaping?

This constant thought of the future and the urge to show everything in the media is creating more stress and anxiety, and it’s unhelpful when there are short-term obstacles in present time that need more focus.

I shouldn’t be stressing out over the thought of tomorrow’s dinner when I haven’t even accomplished that task today. I shouldn’t start hyperventilating over the assignment due next Thursday when I still have homework to do tonight that requires more attention.

What’s happening is happening, and there isn’t much use in worrying about the future. Wishing you could time travel three months back or forward isn’t going to change the current, and that’s a mindset we all need to start implementing.

About the Contributor
Pera Onal, Editor-in-Chief
Pera is a senior and third-year journalism student. In addition to being the editor-in-chief of Tiger Times Online and The Claw, she’s part of the EHS swim and dive team and the local club team, Metro East Titans. She is also a member of National English Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. Outside of school, she lifeguards and gives swimming lessons at the YMCA. When she has free time, Pera likes to read, journal, and go to the movies with her friends.