Teens, like diamonds, shaped by pressures

Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Everybody loves a diamond, or even two. But would you still crave that precious jewel if you knew the stress, challenge and defeat it had to endure?

Just like people, diamonds go through a great amount of heat and stress before gradually transforming into sparkling jewels. Only after undergoing this extreme duress can the rock revolutionize into the beauty sold for indefinite prices and value.

For many seniors, this year has been just as much about difficult decisions and heated times as about fun and seniority. Making plans for seven months into the future can seem as critical as choosing a spouse. Although it may not be quite that caliber, determining what to do with your life is not easy, causing confusion, conflict and overwhelming feelings.

No one dislikes difficulties or being caught in the middle more than I do. I've always been one to resolve a problem as quickly as possible so I can get on with the rest of my life, otherwise I won't.

The smallest unreconciled arguments cause me nights without sleep, while I lay awake dwelling on what I could have done differently. These uptight emotions have certainly lessened over the years, but nonetheless, I still hold issues dear to my heart. This is why it's hard to release my kaleidoscope view and broaden my sight

to a larger picture.

Wouldn't it be nice if our lives ended like the shining perfection of a diamond? But what really makes each sharp distinct edge of a diamond is the result of tough times in our life. Those questioned times along the journey from birth to death are what magnifies each glistening side of the life we build.

Like the saying goes, "The hard times test our souls." Basically, don't look for the pot of gold at the end of the road, but work for it along the way; the voyage, not the destination, is the goal.

I find myself looking for that light at the end of the tunnel too often. Wouldn't it be great if you could just hop on a plane and find yourself in your senior year of college, heading into set career plans? You might miss out on great friendships or random festivities, but better yet, you wouldn't have to drag through exams and lectures.

Or how about waking up one morning already having given your class presentation in psychology? That is definitely a hope I wish were reality. But the truth is, practicing public speaking might give you the skills helpful in the future.

Each and every challenge you overcome makes you who you are.

Learning to deal with school issues, interacting with those people you can't seem to agree with and working an extra 45 minutes on that English essay makes us more thankful and appreciative for our future accomplishments. Saving your hard-earned cash for a month to buy a genuine pair of Doc Martin's tends to be much more worth the wait than splurging with a credit card and praying you can pay it back.

Some say that if life were just a bowl of cherries, we would all turn out to be spoiled brats, never becoming independent and able to take care of situations ourselves. The more I live, the more I find that theory correct.

From each obstacle we face, the more we learn and acquire patience and subtle understanding of our surroundings. Not only are we at a higher level of maturity, but we gain more knowledge of why others act the way they do and how the world works.

Taking the high road and doing the "right thing" is always much more respectable than choosing the easy or most instantly desirable way out.

I'm not sure anyone will ever fully grasp the concepts of this world, but it's worth a try to make it the best we can. Cherish those around you and address each frustrating pothole along the way.

However you've heard it: "suck it up," "swallow your pride" or "wash your face and move on with the day." Get through the tough times, and your life will sparkle and shine with the twists and turns of each passing day.

Shamra Bauder is a senior at Kenai Central High School who has worked as an intern at the Peninsula Clarion.

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