Arthur - Birmingham, Alabama
Entered on March 4, 2009

I believe in individuality. Individuality to me is being strong enough to not simply follow the crowd or whatever is fashionable or “cool”. A few years ago, I learned that lesson. Learning the lesson cost me a few dollars, but looking back it was worth every penny.

A few years ago, Yu-Gi-Oh was everywhere. There were games, TV shows, movies, costumes, and, of course, the trading cards. If you were a nine year old boy, like I was at the time, you would have been surrounded by Yu-Gi-Oh. At school, the kids talked all the time about their Yu-Gi-Oh card collection and the Yu-Gi-Oh “battles” they fought on the weekend. People talked about how valuable some of those cards were and how much you could sell them for.

One Saturday, my family and I were in Wal-Mart. As we were waiting in line to check out, I spotted the Yu-Gi-Oh cards that were for sale. My dad tried to persuade me not to buy them, saying they were just a “fad” that would go away. I was determined to get them, and so when we left I had my very own Yu-Gi-Oh cards. Now I would be able to take part in Yu-Gi-Oh “battles” and start building my collection of Yu-Gi-Oh merchandise.

I can’t remember what the next “big thing” was that made Yu-Gi-Oh

yesterday’s news. I do know that I had spent a lot of money on cards and a lot of time memorizing a bunch of useless facts about Yu-Gi-Oh characters. The cards ended up in the back of my closet, and I eventually got rid of them before any of my friends saw them and made fun of those “stupid Yu-Gi-Oh cards.” I know that I had just followed the crowd and spent a lot of money and time that I could have used for something much more worthwhile. I also know that a big part of the

reason that I got involved in Yu-Gi-Oh was simply because everybody else seemed to be doing it.

So, do I think that the whole Yu-Gi-Oh experience was just a total waste of time and money? Not at all! I have learned that just because everyone else seems to be doing something, does not necessarily mean that I have to do it. I felt pretty silly for just following the crowd and would love to have all the money back that I spent on those cards. Even so, I would rather learn a lesson about not following the crowd with Yu-Gi-Oh cards than I would with something harder to walk away from, such as drugs.