According to trusty Google an experience is ‘an event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone’. In other words, it could be an observation, understanding or knowledge, worldliness, involvement or exposure.
When we talk about experience we’re talking about physical experiences – things you’ve lived through such as your first travel adventure in a ‘post’-pandemic world or your run in on the sporting field.
Have you been racking your brain on the perfect cover letter? Or unsure of your career trajectory? What’s your take on quiet quitting or the great resignation?
Would you head back to Splendour again next year or are music festivals not worth the hype?
WhyNot share your everyday unfiltered thoughts with us?
e.g travel / sport / work / festivals / food / education
This following unfiltered thoughts may contain themes that might be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services.
The fate of Humanitarian Organisations
I’ve always wondered with Humanitarian Organisations, specifically organisations that focus solving social problems such as poverty, hunger, social justice etc. I want to ask, is the plan they make for their organisation, once they have completed their mission, do they disband as an organisation? Now this doesn’t refer to their focus groups affected by factors that are uncontrolled e.g. natural disasters, disabilities. As an example, you may have heard of a famous YouTuber who built 100 wells in Africa to provide clean drinking water and he did this in a few months.
I praise the YouTuber’s actions but the Humanitarian Organisation(s) in the area say that the YouTuber has belittled the years of work they have done. To me at least, it seems like they wanted to prolong the work for as long as they could to keep their organisation(s) to be relevant and keep a steady job. I understand some things take time but also time is not a luxury, and it makes sense to provide these solutions as timely and effectively as possible, and Humanitarian Organisations do amazing and caring work, but if the mission is to end something, it would probably mean the organisation would end too.
Anonymous, 29 NSW
New Years Resolutions
I’ve always liked the idea of New Years Resolutions. But to be honest, by the time the year ends I never really remember what my resolution was, or whether I achieved it. I think I say the same resolutions every year; exercise more, eat healthier, read more, have more fun, fix your sleep schedule, stick to a skincare routine, get smarter, get stronger, get fitter, get happier.
I usually form some new habits, and they usually last a week, maybe a month if I’m lucky. I don’t quite understand why we decide change can only occur when a new year begins. Why must we wait until a new month, or a new week, or a new day? Can’t I change my life on a Wednesday at 3:43pm? Can I not alter my entire being on the 17th of September?
My resolution this year is to not be confined by unspoken rules, to seek change always, for it is through discomfort that we grow.
Luna (she/her), 18 NSW
As we grow up, teenagers are encouraged into extracurriculars. Most of us do, after all almost everyone has some sort of hobby. My friends are the ones who have too many, for the most part, as we bond over sleepless nights and no free time. We fill our arms with activities, putting all our energy into anything we enjoy. I wonder sometimes, do I even still enjoy them?
There’s this odd little community of us, overachieving teenagers. Every one of them are passionate, and driven, and doing far too much for a teenager. We run non-profits, play competitive sports, volunteer, debate, perform, code, organise, tutor. Somehow, in the mix of things, we spend time with family and friends. We balance so many things, one after another, and free time is a luxury. I think most of us are used to it, at this point, but at seventeen I, and I think most of us really, forget we are worth more than our achievements. Conversations remind us there is more to life than doing the most we can and keeping our arms from overflowing.
Ariel (they/them), 17 NSW
Optimism is what you make it
Optimism’s an idea that’s plagued me for a while, another label I’m not sure how to use. There are times when I call myself a realist, and others when I’ve been deemed a pessimist, but the notion that I may be an optimist never held any weight. When it comes to love and destiny, I’m cynical. When the future’s up in the air, I fear the worst. Seemingly textbook pessimism. Yet still, I found myself annoyed when people would write me off as a pessimist, probably because negativity feels like a cop-out, but the lessons I’ve learnt that have formed my way of thinking were far from easy. It’s odd to me that so much shame was cast upon me for being a ‘negative nancy,’ but no one stopped to question WHY my child-brain festered such a bleak outlook.
I had stopped considering optimism entirely, until the other day when I was out for lunch with a friend, who in the years that I had known her, had been an absolute source of joy and kindness. And yet that day, she opened up about her life, and a lot of it was remarkably and rather unfortunately relatable to my own experiences. To paraphrase her, her life kinda sucked, but it sucked a little less this week than last, and she didn’t see the point in getting hung up on what life has been but rather what it could be in a less sucky future. I thought to myself, this is real optimism, and realised that a lot of the ‘optimism’ I’d bore witness to seemed more like empty delusion. And this optimism; this raw, unfiltered and honest introspection, actually felt achievable. And so optimism became less glass full glass empty, and a little bit more nuanced, as I discovered that optimism shouldn’t be bound by one definition or practice, but looked a little different in everyone’s own glass.
“If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others like?” – Candide by Voltaire
Caitlyn (she/her), 18 NSW
Happiness as a measure of success
I was reading through some old notes of mine and came across something I wrote 3 years ago – when I was 15:
“My biggest fear in life is wasted potential. Or to put it bluntly failure.
I have set unrealistically high standards for myself. I will do anything to become something that my younger self is proud of. Something that others expect of me. Everyone has this image. That I am destined for success. That they can’t see a reality in which I am not successful. And I make it seem like this image is imposed on me by others. Yet I know that it was me. I have this same image. I can’t see a world in which I have failed.”
After just completing year 12, I can genuinely say that I have succeeded. Perhaps not to the extent that my 15 year old self was hoping. But I think that my definition of success has changed over time. Because to me, success is happiness.
Last year taught me a lot about my priorities. Yes, I succeeded academically, but that’s not what I’m most proud of. I am proud of the connections I formed with others, the experiences I shared, and the joy I am now filled with.
Happiness is my new measure of success.
Luna (she/her), 18 NSW
a plain Existence.
Today; the human species is abloom.
Tomorrow; the human spirit meets its doom.
Yesterday at work; life of authenticity traded for the coined survival of it.
Today, home from work; individual smiles for screens ignoring the individual’s plain existence. Smiles for the ignorance of the individual’s loss of living.
Tomorrow; the human species numbers merely bloom.
So that today; the human spirit meets its doom.
Sabrina (she/they), 17 VIC
I think we all get a little too caught up trying to be good people. So concerned with making mistakes or being selfish because it will make us bad. I always thought everyone was good, and we just make mistakes. You can be a good person and have done a bad thing. But how many bad things until the good has seeped out of you? Until the dark spots are no longer spots, instead they are all-encompassing. A soul of charcoal. I think I realised that no one is good. But no one is bad either. We’re all just lost and trying to survive the best we can. Some of us might make more mistakes, more drastic ones. But at the end of the day, we’re all just grey. No soul is charcoal, they’re all just ash. We were forged from the ash of a black hole after all. We’re all just grey stardust, and I think that’s beautiful.
Luna (she/her), 18 NSW
I spent 27 minutes writing this
Last week I spent 540 minutes on public transportation. 1,200 minutes procrastinating, and 1,980 minutes staring off into space, watching the clock tick by, stuck behind the counter of a mindless part-time job.
It is all too easy to compartmentalise life based on time. My priorities become seemingly apparent when my life is stripped back and the distribution of my time is revealed. Except that the 720 minutes I spent with my friends meant more than the 1,980 working. The 50 minutes spent at the gym cleared my mind much more effectively than the 1,200 spent lost in thought. And the 40 minutes spent in the car with my family meant more than the 540 on public transport.
Time is precious, but we also have to recognise that often, mundane tasks account for the majority of our time, and that’s okay. It just means that we have to value every second we spend doing things we love and being with those we love.
Luna (she/her), 18 NSW