This I Believe

esther - culver, Indiana
Entered on May 31, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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This I believe

Stress, pressure, strain, anxiety, constant worry, nervous tension, words that envelop people of every creed, color, and religion.

I wanted to be someone; I wanted to make something of myself, that’s over. I had a plan, but that was crushed by the truth that was exposed to me. It’s so stressful, a hard business, you can’t balance the two, they’re too diverse, get an internship, not in that field, I’m afraid you’re limiting yourself; keep your options open, crap.

Like I said, I had a plan, but plans change. You may say you’re going to dinner with two people but end up eating with ten. But adjustments in plans aren’t always terrible, quite the opposite, they allow you experience all of your options. A year off from college may not be the worst idea ever, the Peace Corps doesn’t sound that horrific. You can’t plan your life from the start. You have to experience it. How do you know if you’re good at something if you don’t try it? You may like milk chocolate but you may love dark, how do you know if you don’t try.

I hear people talking about the future, SAT’s, grade point averages, merit scholar. This is when the stress level overflows beyond belief. I realize average can’t get you everywhere. They say “you just didn’t cut it. You didn’t fulfill all of the requirements; we just can’t let you in. Strive for your best but we restrict the class size.”

Everyone seems better, smarter, and more able. The feeling of failure surrounds me. Collapsed on the floor, and ranting about how I can’t get into college with a freshman PSAT score. That even if colleges look at how much I challenge myself in classes, I didn’t get into Honors classes and I’m told AP courses are too challenging. How am I supposed to succeed by being held back? My friend, my savior, removes the PSAT booklet from my death grip. The faint sound of Frank Sinatra’s “The way you look tonight” slowly drifts throughout the room.

The stress falls away slowly as I am told that it doesn’t really matter. None of it does, as long as I’m happy where I am at that moment in time, the rest will just fall into place. You only have one life to live; so you might as well enjoy it.

If the only thing you worry about is the grade, the promotion, the final product, your life will end up being an extremely dull experience. You need to enjoy the day, not just get through it. You have to live to experience your life. Making mistakes, even the worst, is a whole lot better than doing nothing at all. And even if you do screw up, life goes on, that’s the best part of it. I believe in the words of Abraham Lincoln, in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.