An Ode to Silicon Valley’s Teenagers

Welcome to The Shield‘s annual satire section.  Writers use satire to improve a problem in society. Sometimes readers misunderstand the satire as they do not recognize the hyperbole, irony, rhetorical questions, sarcasm, and understatements. Readers may mistake the satirical solution for the actual solution that the writer proposes. The ideas in these satire stories do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Shield or Westmont. If one is confused about satire, please contact a friendly neighborhood English teacher.

By Rachel Griffith

Dear Teenagers of the Silicon Valley,

I write to you with the utmost urgency, seeking immediate relief from the whining cries and relentless excuses you Gen Z-ers employ in the name of ‘mental health.’

From missing class due to a supposed ‘panic attack’ or dropping one of twenty vital extracurricular activities from the college resume in search of ‘self care,’ I beg you, when will the half hearted justifications end? Young people I pen this letter out of responsibility to inform you that it is time to get over your faulty narratives and begin contending with life. 

Wisely spoken to me by my grandfather in the midst of what I believed to be a ‘panic attack’ before my enlightenment with this most paramount issue, “Just don’t be stressed.” What wise words! Why waste valuable time and money on an overly educated mental health professional when you can turn to an easy, self empowering solution? Today, my dear friends, I introduce you to the easy fix to all your problems: pushing the stress away. In this case, the further the better! Continue to hide your problems so far down that they become invisible to your friends, family, and workplace. Forget the awkward days of having to explain a late start or strange behavior. Don’t dismay, push it away! I assure you that this seemingly simple solution will work in no time.

While the media may exaggerate the implications of mental health, claiming anxiety can lead to cancer or sickness, I am here to tell you that you can ignore these money raking headlines. Casting your feelings aside eliminates all your problems. Do you find yourself up through the night thinking through a stressful day? There is a solution; just don’t be stressed! Do you find yourself in tears at the thought of getting a grade less than an esteemed A? There is a solution; just don’t be stressed! Does your heart race moments before receiving a quiz you’ve prepared for all week? There is a solution; just don’t be stressed! 

It is time to get over your attention seeking behavior. I urge you, do not rope a friend or family member into your ‘struggles.’ Stop thinking about your problems and I assure you that they will float away, restoring you time to load up that college resume or get those A’s; start focusing on things like these that really matter in life, not some phony mental excuse. 

Teenagers I ask you to make this change now before you catch yourself in the lie that experts call mental health. The time has come for silence. Hide your problems like the rest of us, and our beautiful valley can return to the struggling hub of overwork and sleep deprivation that fuels us all to be better versions of ourselves.

Yours truly,

Rachel Griffith