The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

In Pursuit of Overcoming The Ordinary: Why This Generation Values Adversity

Leah Ertel
Life consists of many obstacles that need to be overcome. Giving 100% in everything and not taking the easy way out builds character and confidence that will help face future obstacles.

If there’s one thing everyone has in common, it’s the number of hours in the day: 24. However, what is done in those 24 hours is what separates the average person from the future entrepreneurs, the top athletes, academy award-winning performers, the most successful musicians and more. Goal setters are the future — the ones who never take the lazy way out.

Our generation, otherwise known as Generation Z, has been called a bunch of snowflakes; melting when faced with adversity and retreating into our safe places with coloring books and cocoa. We crumble when faced with challenges and choose to take the easy way out. Why go the extra mile when satisfaction is enough? 

Jonas Pisarchick plays defensive center-mid for Sage Creek’s boys varsity soccer team. As a very competitive person, he manages to play his best on the field while also staying responsible and on top of his school work. (Photo from Jonas Pisarchick)

I beg to differ.

It is through overcoming the hardships and challenges we face where learning takes place and character is built.

We are not a generation of snowflakes. Talking with some of my peers, we are a generation of young hard-working adults who see the value in adversity, challenging ourselves to be better and the rewards that come as well as the satisfaction achieved when we make it through. We have faced the COVID-19 pandemic, online schooling and everyday stresses of grades, relationships and other constant pressures. We are being forged to take on the obstacle course of life and all that lies ahead.

From a personal perspective, I’ve been a Girl Scout for twelve years. In my second to last year as a Girl Scout Ambassador, I face a 6-week long cookie haul that takes up most of my time, selling delicious cookies to everyone I meet whether it’s going door-to-door or standing in front of stores for 2-6 hour intervals. 

In this time frame, anybody who sees me knows me as “the girl who lugs around that big Costco bag filled with cookies inside.” Why do I carry that approximately 15 lbs. bag to school every day? Because selling 2000+ boxes of cookies every year does not come easy. Since I was a 2nd grader, I have sold over 2000+ boxes of cookies, breaking the record as the most consecutive top seller for 10 years. 

It’s the new set of challenges I face each and every year — from pandemics to cookie shortages, to the wettest weather we’ve had in years — that drives me to set my goal and reach it despite the various difficulties. Being able to jump over the hurdle and come out on the other side, looking back at what was overcome, builds a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and pride that passes on to the next year. I do not have to do this every year, especially

when colleges only look to see if I sold the minimum of 12 boxes, but the competitive part of me tells me I must.

There are many outstanding Sage Creek Bobcats who also go the extra mile and not only manage to stay on top of their work but find a way to do the things they are passionate about by giving 100% in everything they do.

Athena Woessner sits next to Sayre Hackworth as Elle Woods and Emmet Richmond in Sage Creek’s recent performance of “Legally Blonde.” As a performer, many hours are devoted to rehearsing and memorizing lines. (Isabella Bernabeo)

Athena Woessner is a junior at Sage Creek who has been in several Sage Creek productions; her latest as leading lady Elle Woods in the recent performance of “Legally Blonde.” Athena loves theater so much that through the vulnerability and long hours it requires, it remains a fun outlet for her.

“It is always very rewarding to put on a production and to know that not only your friends are coming to see the show, but your teachers and people that you don’t know and have the chance to inspire come and join in,” Woesnner says. “It’s great to put in all that work. It prepares you for stresses in the future.”

All the hours dedicated to memorizing the lines as well as staying on top of school work is a lot, and for Athena, she went for the lead role nonetheless. Allowing herself to pour her heart and soul into her craft allowed her to get a major role and put on a successful performance.

Stepping away from the arts, athletes have it hard from the seven-hour school days to the many hours of practice and the games that follow. Athletes with intentions of playing professionally have dedicated much of their time and energy to a sport that they are passionate about.

Jonas Pisarchick, a junior on the boys varsity soccer team, plays defensive center-mid. As a very competitive person, he believes that everyone can be competitive and have that drive for something, as long as they are willing to put the time and effort in for it.

Drew Limberg, who devotes much of his time teaching his students at NC Martial Arts, trains his students on how seeking adversity and facing challenges is how they grow. (Photo from Drew Limberg)

“Being competitive isn’t just for certain people, I think you just have to find what you’re willing to be competitive about,” Pisarchick says. “Competitiveness gives you a little bit more edge because you’re willing to take it a step further, really push yourself to not only be better than what you were but better than your competitors. Everybody eventually finds their mojo or motivation to be competitive for something.”

From sports on the field to sports in a dojang, Drew Limberg, otherwise known as Kyo Sa Nim Limberg to his students, spends many of his hours teaching Tang Soo Do, a Korean martial art. As a man of many talents and extracurriculars, he not only teaches the benefit of facing challenges to his students but lives by what he teaches as well.

“We need to seek out challenges in our life because it’s only through challenges that we grow,” Limberg says. “When we have those challenges, we have intensity and we work deliberately. Do adverse things to get that growth.” 

Setting goals, achieving them and outside praise received, such as a reward, would be classified as an external form of motivation. Yet these would not be plausible if it weren’t for the internal ambition, the intrinsic rewards that sparks from motivation. A great example of this would be the military, specifically the Navy SEALS. Obtaining the status as a SEAL and overcoming the physical barriers is all external. The motivation that encourages these committed soldiers to stick out these challenges is intrinsic, the internal battle. The training they face is known to be 80% mental and 20% physical. Without the willingness and desire to achieve, the hard things such as the physical challenges faced in life become almost impossible to overcome. 

Some may say that half the battle is getting out of bed in the morning and just showing up. While that is partially true, getting out of bed and then giving your best effort of 100% in sports, schoolwork, relationships and goals you aim to achieve will set you apart from the rest of society, and prove not only to yourself but to others that you were not born a snowflake.

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