This I Believe

Gareth - Gilbert, Arizona
Entered on May 18, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.


I believe that life is full of choices, choices that dictate whether or not succession or failure is in the cards for one’s life. Often I see people make a choice that is profound or even small that alters their lives in negative or positive ways. I encountered a situation where my life would be determined by the stupid choices I made, luckily I made the right one.

My junior year in high school was a tumultuous time for me. I was tired of school and everyday life; I needed a detachment, that detachment was found in marijuana. I started smoking marijuana just occasionally, telling myself that it would not get out of hand, however recreational use became a habit. Marijuana became a crutch for myself it became a necessity for everyday life. Instead of buying food with my lunch money that my mom would give me, I would spend the money on my vice, marijuana. My grades and relationships with people began to deteriorate because of this habit.

Then one night I was smoking pot with my friends and I had a seizure. I did not know it was from a bad batch of weed that we had bought. This however still did not detour me, it actually made me more obsessive. I found a job to help purchase more of the drug to detach myself from life even more. My trend of smoking now exceeded to smoking three to four times a day.

Then one day I smoked marijuana before I went to the mall. Upon entering the mall I collapsed and had a very dangerous seizure. My heart raced up to 170 beats per minute and I almost went into cardiac arrest. I went to my mother’s hospital and took a drug test. When my test results came back positive I couldn’t look my mother in her eyes because of the disappointment written on her face. That night I sat in the hospital and thought about my life. I thought about other drugs that I could take but then I thought about my friends and family. I did not want to end up being a drug addict. I thought about my friend’s brothers, both have which had serious drug problems, I realized the pain they caused their families and the potential they lost and which they once bestowed. I realized I needed to make a change and focus my life in a more positive way.

Even though not all choices are similar to mine, choices people make dictate what their life will become. Whether it is a college one might attend or wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle, these choices decide the outcome of one’s life. I believe that life’s about choices, luckily I chose the right one.