Tunnel Vision

Essential Question: How does tunnel vision affect us and how do we prevent it?

People are able to see so far but can only see so little at a time. We seek certain things and become so absorbed into achieving it that we become tunnel visioned and exhausted. We can only notice things that are in our interest and block out and become blind to everything else. In society, students are encouraged to set high goals for themselves and use their whole life to attempt to achieve it. They say success is the only way to be happy. Because of this, students desperately work to reach success because otherwise we fail in life and have to work at Mcdonalds. We become so absorbed in success that we fail to realize how beautiful the world is, how fun life is, and how short life is.

Many high school students’ goal is to get accepted into a UC and are aware of how difficult it is and how hard they have to work. We enroll ourselves in classes that are college leveled and do many things to make their application look good. We become so obsessed with the desire to be accepted and feel success, that we abuse our health, shut ourselves in our room, fail to spend time with family, and don’t realize how fun certain subjects actually are. In the Girl Who Fell From the Sky Podcast, the survivor of a helicopter crash was so focused on moving forward and finding help that she didn’t even notice her broken bones and hunger. Although she discovered her arm injury, she didn’t feel any other pain and was distracted away from the loss of her parents. Once she received help, she began to regain her sense of panic and thought which enabled her to absorb the information around her and understand her situation. In addition to the inability to realize our current status, we turn things that are capable of being fun and interesting into a burden. A chore. Students are obsessively focused on getting good grades and their goal of getting accepted into a good college that they begin to dislike school. Even though some aspects of school are enjoyable and exciting such as learning interesting topics, meeting new people, and discovering your interests, students tend to become blind to this. Eventually, students will lose themselves, lose sight of why they try so hard, and everything around them. Students will not be in the present to appreciate what is in front of them. A quote from the Seven Samurai depicts this well, “Train yourself, distinguish yourself in war. But time flies. Before your dream materializes, you get gray hair. By that time your parents and friends are dead and gone.” This connects to how students are tunnel visioned to their education and ignoring everything else around them, including their family and their environment. By the time they realize the lack of time spent appreciating their loved ones and surroundings, things will be different and irreversible. Ultimately, tunnel vision affects us negatively because it causes us to ignore important things around us and only focus on what we desire.

In order to prevent tunnel vision, you have “to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal” (Siddhartha 113). Although tunnel vision can affect us negatively, it allows us to reach our goals and persevere. Without a goal, you will not achieve anything and design your own life. However big goals, which we idealize, can easily be lost sight of and can cause tunnel vision. To prevent this, we can set small goals and take breaks to help achieve in life and feel less pressured. Small goals can be like finishing all assignments before 11 pm, studying to get good grades on a chemistry test, or spending time with family during free time. Smaller goals allow you to not lose sight of what you want and can be achieved faster, allowing you to see your progress. To add on, breaks will give your mindset a rest from your goal and allow you to absorb and appreciate things outside the tunnel. Shorten how far you can see and instead broaden how much you can see in front of you. As much as we want to think ahead, we should also be present and accept what is around us.

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