This I Believe

Josh - Moraga, California
Entered on December 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Little Choices

Living in a wealthy suburban town in Northern California, in a respected high school district where outstanding grades is an average achievement, in a society where I am expected to excel in school so I can get into a high-ranking university so I can get a high-paying job, as a typical teenager grouped into cliques and categorized before I even open my mouth to say something about who I am, I have very little control of my life. I don’t believe in overworking myself and studying until I can’t keep my eyes open. I see no logic in writing entire essays for a few measly extra credit points. I would much rather play a board game with my sister than answer the “SAT Question of the Day” online. Sometimes, I just don’t care. In a life where I am guided down a straight path, ushered into a life set by certain parameters and rules, most choices are made for me. I often find myself wondering if the daily grind that consumes my waking hours is really the life I want to be living.

I believe in enjoying the small things, and in spending what little free time I have doing what I want to do, in even extending my free time and allowing myself to take a break every now and then, knowing all the while that I will get the job done in the end. I believe in the power of choice, and I choose to be who I am and not let the tedium of the day envelop and suffocate my life.

The choices I make allow me, at least partially, to free myself from the binds of school, that ugly yet valuable place. Certain subjects I know myself to have disliked in the past, I shy away from, and instead challenge myself in subject matter I find more interesting. I believe in balancing my life so that I am comfortable and not overstressed, and at the same time pushing the limit to what can be done and learning new things.

I am only 16. I have no idea where my life is headed, or what I want to do as a responsible adult. I think I like that about my life. Right now, I have a routine, a schedule that I have to follow every weekday. Needless to say, this repetition is superbly mundane. The unknown future is a mysterious adventure I look forward to experiencing. For now, though, I find comfort in all the little things, the laughs, the memories, the wins, the losses, the love. I believe that, going into the future, I will be prepared to make the right decision for me as I begin a new adventure as a free adult.