This I Believe

Sean - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on January 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

You want to know something funny? I spent over 20 minutes thinking of the best possible way to start this paper, but after many attempts at the perfect topic sentence, I realized that emotional speeches and all that jazz really isn’t in my nature.

My name is Sean McCoy and I’m fifteen years old. I’m the guy you’ll see at every thrift store in Utah (I’m not shifty, I just happen to like the selection there). I’m the guy that can’t keep a straight face to save his live, who knows detention like the back of his hand and hooks up with danger every weekend. I’m different. Now, before you say “This trashy kid better not be dating my daughter”, my personality says nothing about who I am. I’m one of the cleanest kids I know. Ironic, isn’t it? I believe in self-control.

I heard a song many years ago called “Different”. It was written by Sage Francis, one of the most respected underground rappers today and the biggest influence for me. That’s quite a title for someone who’s white, sober, clean of drugs, and even a vegetarian. In the song, he speaks his mind and lets his emotions talk for him.

When family or friends let me down, that kind of music is always there for me. After all, who better understands your struggle than a (once) starving artist? I am also a musician, but I remain anonymous. Regardless, even though fame might not ever hit me, music reminds me that I don’t need alcohol to have a good time, and I plan to keep it up.

I love to hike, play tennis, draw, rock climb, and hang out with my friends. Those simple things in life keep me going. When you pause time to look out the window, you may see the world at its peak or at its slough because the relationship between you and the world is mutual: it’s only as good as you make it. In other words, there is always a way to find happiness. A bottle isn’t very comforting at all.

It was late, and many people were drunk after my cousin’s wedding. A friend of hers thought it was a good idea to get away from the party and take a boat ride by himself. His senses were clouded from the liquor. As he paddled, he began to loose balance, and suddenly, he fell off the boat. He struggled to get back on, but his motor skills were blurred. He couldn’t do anything to save himself.

It’s strange to see how fast everything can change because after the celebration, his friends went searching for his body at the bottom of a lake.

Everyone has a responsibility to the people they love. It means being there for them at any moment. It means having self-control so that you can help them when they don’t.