Maryem, The Netherlands

Dear World,

Wake up. We are tired. Tired of living up to everyone’s expectations. Tired of being the perfect students. Tired of hearing that we have to try harder. Tired of not feeling enough. Tired of being treated as children. Aren’t you aware that we are the next generation? Aren’t you aware that tomorrow we will stand where you’re standing now? Wake up…

As long as I can remember, I have been told that I won’t make it if I didn’t get better grades in math. No matter what I did, it always came down to me not being able to solve those problems. I have never been the smart friend, but I was always there. I’ve been asking myself why schools only test intelligence. But it doesn’t matter how careful, kind and openhearted I am. As long as I am not able to do math, I won’t make it.

Stop that! I need all of you to wake up. Is this the life you will want to look back on in 50 years? Ask yourself a question: will it be worth the sleepless nights and the falling tears? The world needs more than just good grades. The world needs open minded people, kind people, ambitious people, and caring people. There is much more than being smart. We can offer you more than just our intelligence.

I get that you want your kids to get into good colleges and have good jobs. But does it have to be at the expense of our mental health?

Some of us are sad because this life wasn’t what we expected it to be.

Some of us are mad at the world.

Some of us are afraid of being judged and keep everything to ourselves.

Some of us are desperate for help but too afraid to ask.

Some of us are stressed because we have to be perfect.

We are all suffering. We are all fighting our own war. This is not the world I, as a 5 year old wishing for peace, wanted to grow up in.
The world is in danger, wars are going on, people are dying from hunger, there’s still no cure to certain diseases, and we’re losing our minds. And the truth is, we’re not going to solve those problems anytime soon. So I need all of you to invest time in my generation because we will be the ones facing those problems in 10 years.

Instead of looking for solutions, ask where you went wrong and why you keep underestimating us. We need to change now. You are running out of time and we are growing up.

Yours sincerely,


Age 17, 
The Netherlands

Women2Women Delegate

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