As young performers see increasing success in entertainment, high schoolers should recognize importance of personal successes

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Grace Guo and Claire He

People are often quick to point out the lack of actual teenagers in teenage shows these days, making fun of the so-called “30-year-old high schoolers.” Still, it’s important to note that as cast actual minors in some harsher roles. With that said, even though actors who portray 16-year olds aren’t always 16-years-old, the careers they’ve amassed are still wildly impressive as entertainment explores darker themes in the lives of young people, it would be questionable to cast actual teen actors.

With Season 2 of “Euphoria” flooding for-you-pages and fansites, I recall looking up actor ages and finding most of the cast was around 25-years-old, or younger.

Beyond that, it seems that every new movie or show features at least one actor who got their start when they were barely four-feet-tall, with child actors and performers aging up and taking on adult roles.

Obviously, it’s inspiring to see hard-working, talented individuals have their life-long goals realized at such a young age, but it can also be disheartening to see a person on screen accomplish so much more than you when they’re basically your age. Even as I’m writing this and checking Instagram, I came across a post about Keira Knightley—who apparently filmed “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Love Actually” and “Pride and Prejudice” all before turning 20.

This isn’t just a teenage phenomenon though, I remember seeing child stars on Disney Channel in elementary school, wondering how they could already have full-blown careers and be beloved by millions.

But now, while figuring out college plans, trying to form a somewhat impressive application, and wondering why I’ve never had an official job—and if anyone would even hire me—seeing these stars with towering net worths and more successful than I could ever dream of, I have to admit my goals seem meek in comparison. But it’s important to realize, just because someone your age is successful in ways that seem beyond you, it doesn’t mean your successes are less important.

I deserve to be proud of a test score or a CLASS award, even if it’s for something as small as my dedication to learning polyatomic ions. Toxic comparison isn’t helping anyone. It’s not fair to young celebrities, who have worked hard to earn their success, and it’s not fair to yourself, who also worked hard for your goals.

My goals are important, and just because I don’t think I see myself hosting the Met Gala or accepting an Emmy in the near future, getting through high school still deserves recognition.

To keep moving forward, you have to start recognizing all your accomplishments, no matter how small, as steps towards your goals. Then maybe, if it is a goal of yours, you will end up climbing the stage to accept your own golden award one day.

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