Ah, the sweet, sweet innocence of high school! I remember it like it was just yesterday. The buzz of sophomore year, the rush of my first kiss, the terror of AP classes, and that one time I narrowly avoided death at the hands of a global terrorist group while simultaneously nabbing a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Man, high school was crazy!
Of course, I didn’t really do that last part, but the insane thing is that Malala Yousafzai, the young Islamic woman who made headlines while openly advocating for educational and civil equality in her native Pakistan, has done all of this and more, and she’s barely 16 years old!
When I was 16, the biggest thing I had to worry about was what color rubber bands I wanted on my braces. I mean, you’d think you could just get white, but they turn yellow after a while, and then you look like you have mustard on your teeth. The worst.
When I turned 16, on March 13th, 2009, the number one song on iTunes was “Right Round” by Flo Rida. And I guarantee you that I was listening to Flo Rida on my birthday.
I can’t even make the joke, “When I was 16, I had barely even gotten my driver’s licence,” because when I was 16 years old I hadn’t even applied for my learner’s permit.
And guess what? Malala isn’t the only one!
That’s right, Ella Yelich-Oconnor, better known by her stage name, Lorde, currently holds a number 1 single on the Bilboard Top 100. And she just turned 16 last November. That makes her the youngest artist to top the charts in 26 years.
Feeling inadequate yet? She writes her own songs. And she started working on her debut album when she was TWELVE. She is the biggest badass the music industry has seen in years. I mean, could you think of lyrics like this?
“Take the pill, make it too real
The other day I forgot my old address
I’m sitting pretty on the throne
There’s nothing more I want
Except to be alone”
Yeah, I thought so.
Oh, and let’s not forget about this freaking kid.
Remember him? The youngest kid at UC Berkeley? HE’S THIRTEEN! I mean, Jesus, my voice hadn’t even cracked by that point. And he’s a double major in MCB and Bioengineering? Why am I even getting a degree when this kid exists?
So just remember, while you’re at home, watching American horror story and heating up a hot pocket while worrying about what jobs to apply to, and what parties to go to this weekend, these kids are out there:
And they’re better than you.
– Grant Genske, CalTV Entertainment