Lazy.  Irresponsible.  Unmotivated.

That’s what it means to play.

Having fun? How is that possible when you have so much work to do?  Don’t you want a better future?  What colleges want a kid who plays all the time?

Those are the questions being shoved down our generation’s throats.

Everyone wants to go to a prestigious college, have a good job, and live the dream life of success and wealth.  Can this be achieved while playing?  Is there room?

For our entire lives, students are forced to recognize the benefits of hard work.  Hard work brings honor.  With hard work, there are fruitful outcomes.  This message has been so engraved into our minds and because it is so widely practiced, we have come to recognize it as truth.

However, have we ever stopped to think about the downsides of hard work?  At first, this question seems completely unreasonable.  How could hard work be disadvantageous?

While it is true that hard work does bring success, we must also stop to recognize that this generation of teenagers has the highest level of anxiety and depression.  In fact, according to the American Psychological  Association, the level of anxiety in teenagers is higher than adults today.  These mental struggles are the outcomes of constant stress under the pressure of desire to succeed.  Knowing this, the question of “Is it worth it?” begs to be answered.Image result for stress in teens graph

People today are so afraid of letting loose.  They fear that by playing, they are becoming one step farther from their dream car, their dream college, or their dream house.  Personally, however, I was able to become more engaged in my learning after having a little fun.

On Global Play Day, I brought the game Uno.  Uno has always been a favorite game of mine because of how competitive and aggressive people can get during the game.  With a group of my friends, we sat down at a lunch table and started to play the game.  During this period, I was able to forget about my worries.  I was laughing, screaming, and having so much fun.  It was a time where I was able to become a kid again, back to when I was completely stress free.

The week prior to Global Play Day was finals week, arguably the most stressful week of my entire life.  However, I felt like Global Play Day was a great way to let loose and finally release my anxiety.

As a teen in the modern world, I lived my whole life going along with the belief that hard work and effort is everything.  Through Global Play Day, however, I was able to recognize the true meaning of play.  This is why I believe that every school should be taking a day dedicated to play.  It is so important to take moments in your life where you are able to forget, to let loose and completely be in the moment, having fun.   Sure, success is essential, but can one truly call their lives successful without being happy?

Motivational.  Replenishing.  Stimulating.

For me, that’s what it means to play.

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