This I Believe

Alexandra - Fayetteville, New York
Entered on December 18, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Take a Chance

The clock is ticking as you glance nervously at your scantron, there is one question left that is unanswered sitting at the bottom of your sheet, tormenting you. You have a twenty-five percent chance you will get the answer correct, but then again you could always leave the answer blank and you won’t be penalized. These are the rules in the test that determines your future. So, do you guess? Do you take a leap of faith, jump off of the cliff, and let the solid ground beneath you turn to air? You could always fall, but then again would you rather try and fail or not try at all? It is better to take a chance than to realize after words that you are filled with regret for not taking the risk.

Throughout your life you will be forced to make several tough decisions. The choice could be anything from deciding if you should start your own company, if you should tell someone that you love them, or if you should perform in a dance recital even if you aren’t a dancer. All of these decisions involve chance, because you could always fail, be rejected, or fall flat on your face in front of an audience. That is always the risk that you take with any major decision, the risk of failure. In about two yeas time I will have to make decisions about which colleges I apply to. These decisions will be very difficult because when applying to certain colleges you will be putting yourself out there, screaming “pick me” to the college boards. And they may not always choose you; you could be shot down, your dreams crushed into a million little pieces. The idea that you may not always succeed at everything you try, scares a lot of people. Nothing is an absolute guarantee; failure can catch you off guard somewhere along the way.

When people are in the midst of making a huge decision, it is like they are on the edge of a huge cliff, and they can’t see the bottom. They could jump off of the cliff and hope like hell that someone will be there to catch them at the bottom, or hope they will suddenly sprout wings and fly off safely. But let’s face it; it’s scary looking down from the top of the cliff. Some people may realize that it might not be worth the effort to jump, so they will return to the safer side of life taking the more cautious road, and always wonder what would have happened if they had taken the plunge.

You control your life and you alone. You can decide whom you want to be friends with, whom to love, what to major in, where to live, and what your profession is. You have the power to change your life, and twist it around until you are happy. This is another thought that scares many people; the fact that, for the most part, your own life is in your hands. So if you are sitting on your deathbed thinking about your life and are unhappy with the events that happened, the outcome, and all of the things in between, you really only have yourself to blame.

According to a poster I once saw, “you miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” It’s better to be at the bottom of things knowing that you can only go up then at the top wondering if you should have jumped. This I believe.