This I Believe

Margaret - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Entered on January 18, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change
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I suppose it was a sort of irrational fear or denial of reality, but I’ve never liked the unknown. It was too unpredictable, too uncontrollable; I liked things precise and in order, to have that perfect organization. Anything I didn’t know put too many factors in my life that I couldn’t control. Sometimes it scared me; sometimes I panicked. But at some point amidst the ruckus, I remembered to just breathe, and take things one step at a time. Eventually, I’ll put my world back in perspective, and I’ll have learned something, gained a new experience. For I believe in conquering the unknown.

I started high school this year. I’ve often thought it was the beginning of the rest of my life. Although it all seemed the same, I had been going to school for most of my life, somehow high school was completely different. Of course, there was a new building, new faces, but it was more than that. I suppose it was that freshman year was like taking that first step into the world, preparing for the rest of my life, and making myself into someone I wanted to be when I grew up. And that scared me.

So I went, into a completely different world, where things were bound to change, and I didn’t think I was going to like it. At first, just getting around the school was hard. With three floors and two separate buildings, I inevitably got lost the first day. The hallways were suffocating, and I was swallowed in the crowd. But as the day progressed, I found my way around and realized it wasn’t as different as I thought. Walking through the halls of a new school, I looked around, saw familiar faces, and knew my friends were stepping into the unknown with me. Suddenly, it didn’t seem quite so scary anymore.

Of course, I’ve always known that the “real world” would be different. But the sheer idea of a universe infinitely times larger than my own was overwhelming. When I was younger, the idea was foreign; therefore it was banned in my mind. Stepping carefully about the boundaries, I simply avoided thinking about it. But I always knew. As I got older, I realized that living in fear of the unknown was no way to live. In trying to avoid changes, I was missing both the good and bad. But, I think, that’s how life’s supposed to go. We change, we learn, and we grow together. So I will tear down these constructed boundaries, and live my life, for better or for worse. And I will change, I will learn, and I will grow.

As I’ve been told countless times, there’s a first time for everything. So yes, there’s a first time for failure, for heartbreak, and for feeling like the world’s going to end. But I will only learn to work harder, be sensible, and pull through, if only to prove that life does go on. Then again, there’s also first times for success, love, and getting the chance to start over; a first time for friendship, learning, and achieving a dream. And honestly, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. So I will take that step into the future, no matter what it may bring, because I believe in conquering the unknown.