This I Believe

Rachel - Altoona, Iowa
Entered on September 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Life’s hardest battle to some means life or death. To me, it means being yourself. In today’s society, everyone seems to want for me to fit the mold, whether it means scoring five thousand free throws or getting straight A’s. The pressures are sometimes so great that I lost who I am while trying to please everyone.

I get up every morning at five o’clock and get ready for school. Mondays and Wednesdays attend gym at 6:35, while on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays I go to practice at 6:58. Go to school all day without a study hall. When school gets out I don’t even leave right away. I stay after to practice and finally go home at around four; do homework for two to three hours; eat dinner and do more homework. I might get on the computer for awhile just to catch up on the latest news if its not too late.

It’s easy to see how one could get so caught up in day to day life, especially when it’s as structured and planned as mine. I always know where I’m supposed to go and when I’m supposed to be there. And what I plan on doing once there.

Expectations. Everyone seems to have these expectations of me when I do anything. Such as my parents, sure I try hard at school for myself. I want to get into a good college, but most of it is for them. I want them to see that all their hard work and money hasn’t gone to waste on me. I want them to trust me enough to let me do things because I’m doing so well in school, to know that my grades won’t slip. Take my teachers as another example. When I walk into a class room on the first day of school I can already tell just by the kids whether I’m going to enjoy this class or not. Mainly because I know that I might be the only student that answers questions or even participates. I think that’s part of the reason I don’t hang out with many kids my age. I feel like they are themselves and aren’t trying to impress anyone. They’ve learned that the best person they cam be is themselves. Those expectations can be reached, but that they aren’t always what you want or need.

In conclusion, there are so many ways that the world will try to change me. Some of them will be good and others will be bad. I just have to listen to my heart and trust that I’m making the right choice. It won’t always be easy, but it’s worth the struggle. I don’t ever want to lose my self while trying to please everyone. The American author e.e. cummings said it best: “To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing it ‘s best to make you somebody else is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.”