8 Ways Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai's High School Experience Is Way Different Than Yours

As you’ve probably heard by now, 17-year-old Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014, as was India children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. The two winners receive the highest possible recognition “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” I don’t think I need to stress how well-deserved it is; these two people are extraordinary.

Malala, who has lived in Birmingham, UK since the 2012 attempt on her life, was in chemistry class when she got the news that she’d won the award. They were studying electrolysis; But according to her teacher, Malala didn’t let it interrupt her school day. She continued on as usual, only addressing the media after she had finished her studies for the day. In a press conference held at Birmingham’s main library, the activist said, “The award is for all the children who are voiceless, whose voices need to be heard... This award is not just a piece of metal or a medal you wear or an award you keep in your room. This is encouragement for me to go forward.” (See more of Malala’s quotes here).

I kind of love the fact that A) she was in school when she found out, and B) she just kept learning. Here’s how we imagine that Malala’s high school experience in Birmingham is different from our own:

Malala:

Walks into chemistry class and finds out she’s won the Nobel Peace Prize.

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You:

Walk into chemistry and find out you’ve got a pop quiz.

Malala:

Delivers impassioned speeches to the UN to call for worldwide access to education.

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You:

Deliver awkward speeches to your bored and inattentive classmates to call for school wide access to the vending machines in the cafeteria.

Malala:

Starts the Malala Fund to empower girls through education.

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You:

Organize car washes and bake sales to raise money for new field hockey uniforms.

Malala:

Becomes the youngest Nobel laureate ever.

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You:

Become the youngest ever freshman to get cast as a lead in the school play. Nice job, though!

Malala:

Writes a powerful memoir about her experiences living under the Taliban regime and beyond.

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You:

Write a paper for your fourth period English class about the symbolism of color in The Great Gatsby. And you got an A!

Malala:

Puts herself at great risk penning a blog secretly for the BBC about what it’s like trying to get an education as a girl in a Taliban-controlled country.

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You:

Put yourself at minimal risk running a Tumblr full of cats doing ridiculous things.

Malala:

Has probably accomplished more as a 17-year-old than most people can hope to accomplish in their entire lives.

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You:

Have probably accomplished pretty much everything most people expect a 17-year-old to accomplish, including not missing the bus in the morning and getting your college applications in on time.

Malala:

Fights through seemingly insurmountable odds, survives an assassination attempt and emerges stronger than ever, refusing to back down and giving voice to all of the girls and women across the globe who might not otherwise be heard.

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You:

Take inspiration from this extraordinary girl and the amazing work she has done, and all the amazing work you’ve no doubt she’ll continue to do in the future.

Images: Giphy (6); fyeahfindingcarter/Tumblr; Quickmeme