Preserving the Self

Monica - Mission Viejo, California
Entered on September 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

Life is such a rare and precious gift that it should always be lived to the fullest. I believe living life to its fullest includes being yourself and standing up for what you believe in. There is no time to compare yourself to others or worry that you are not as good as someone else. Competition must reside within a person; it is necessary in preserving the self. When we begin to compare ourselves to others, we lose respect for ourselves and change into different people. Looking at life from the perspective of “I am not..” defeats the purpose of individuality. It is a pessimistic way to view life, an insult to God. I believe that in order for us to truly live a full life we must be able to be proud of our accomplishments our failures, and our attempts. We must be able to say that because of these events, we are who we are today. Our experiences alone define us, not the words or actions of those around us.

Take for example the pressing issue on every high school senior’s mind: college. Within the highly competitive process, I believe that we find difficulty in sustaining our individuality. Parents pressure kids to take the hardest classes, become involved in the most demanding activities, and to always be one step ahead of everyone else. The student is thus forced to take on a lifestyle they are not capable of. They work day in and day out, blinded by the competition and are unable to make the most of each moment, they find difficulty in sustaining their “self”. Some people may argue that getting into a good college takes work and every student should work hard to deserve to go to college, and I absolutely agree. However, I also strongly believe in staying true to oneself in any activity or situation. It must be the choice of a student to take challenging courses or be involved in many different activities. People around them should be considered as guides or “references,” but not as their personal decision makers. I believe that parents should not be constantly comparing their kids to what colleges want. I think students should look at colleges from the perspective of what the college will do for them. It is important to keep in mind that people succeed in an environment they are more comfortable with.

In this day and age the individual is overlooked by society’s standard. I believe that it is important to continue to preserve the individual, as we are constantly pressured to fit into a mold that society deems acceptable. We must not be afraid to express ourselves and live our life the way we want to live it, but with morals and values that have people’s best interests at heart. I believe individuality should be expressed within the realms of reason and practicality and not as an impulse-based action. We should take pride in expressing ourselves as God made us all different for a reason. It is our responsibility to live our lives without restraint and in accordance with the self.