Hope can be a difficult thing to feel right now, especially when it seems like every day we see more bad news. The days seem to be repeating over and over again, and everything feels out of our control. Despite this, it is important to take a step back and look at the things you can control. What are you looking forward to? What motivates and drives you through these difficult times? I interviewed a few students and got their takes on what gives them hope for the future and what they focus on when things get difficult.
A common theme among the students was having children. “I’m really excited to have kids and to create a generation that’s better than ours. It gives me hope to think about how I can raise a kid and be a good parent to them and I can’t wait to give them a good life. I’m so excited to take my kids to sports games and help them succeed at everything they want to do. I’m so hopeful for the life I can create for them,” said one student. I loved seeing how excited the students at our school are for having kids, and I loved the idea of raising a generation that’s even better than ours.
Another thing that gave students hope for the future was the people cracking down on climate change. “I’m really hopeful about how climate change has become an issue people are talking about. It hasn’t been paid attention to for far too long, but it gives me hope when I see people fighting for it. We only have one Earth, so we should be doing whatever we can to save it. Sometimes it can get you down when you focus on the negative parts, but just a few days ago I was reading an article about how a congressional report showed that solving the climate crisis is within our reach, and it made me really happy. I believe that with the number of people fighting for it we are making a difference, and it gives me hope that my children will grow up in a world where the environment is better than the one I’m growing up in currently.”
Another student was also hopeful about a better future environment, but took their answer in a completely different direction. “I’m hopeful about the results of the election, but if that doesn’t end up working out, I’m hopeful about the fact that AI will replace humans. If the human race fails, which it most likely will, super-intelligent AI could most likely keep a ‘human’ alive in some sort of simulation of life, thus preserving the legacy of the earth’s self-proclaimed intelligent life. Plus, if an accurate model of the human brain is made, such that it can form new neural pathways, the evolution of humans as we know it and beyond could be achieved in only years. With intelligent AI instead of humans the environment could go back to how it was before we ruined it.” The idea of artificial intelligence taking over the world might be worrying to some people, but to each their own right? Everyone finds hope through different things.
It was incredible to see all of the things that cause students to stay motivated, whether it be future careers — “When I think about the future the thing that motivates me the most is being able to have a successful career in which I can make enough money to do whatever I please without having to worry about financial difficulties,” friendships — “My friends definitely are a big source of inspiration for myself and my future. They teach me new things every day, and I know we will all continue to grow together and become the best people we can be,” or just the future in general — “Instead of focusing on only what I’m doing now, I try to find meaning in everything I do. I ask myself, ‘What can I do to help prepare myself for college and beyond?’ ‘What things do I want to experience after high school?’ It makes me really hopeful to look ahead towards a bigger goal on the days when school feels monotonous,” students have been able to stay hopeful and inspired, even during these difficult times.
Some other notable mentions include congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, hugs, chocolate, traveling the world, Italian food, and going on road trips with dogs. It was very uplifting to see how optimistic and driven everyone is staying through this strange time. It is so much easier to give up and lose hope, but the thing that keeps me smiling is how full of hope everyone is, and how positive they all are.