Jennifer - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on February 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

I’ve always been the kind of person who loves to live day by day. From early on, I disliked making plans in advance. Every time a friend mention a prospective plan, I would reply, “I don’t know, something else might come up. I’ll call you later.”

But lately, I’ve been sitting on my laurels a lot more. From a hyperactive thirteen-year-old, I have become a calm seventeen-year-old (of course, I’m still prone to sudden acts of silliness). As I sit here and write this, my belief becomes clearer and clearer.

I believe in carpe diem.

Carpe diem is making the most out of what one can. I used to be like that. In the morning, I was busy learning sixth grade math, U.S. Constitution and the evolution of the earth. In the afternoon, I was at either volleyball, cheerleading, track or softball practice. In the evening, I did homework, practiced piano, and spent time with my then-baby sisters. Compared to my life then, I now feel as if I have so much time on my hands, and nothing to do with it.

When I talked about the future with my friends, college had seemed a far way off. Now as a junior in high school, I see my SATs and ACT coming up, and I freak out. I see myself turning eighteen this year and I get scared. I think of my being a senior, graduating, next year, and I find myself not wanting to leave. I feel as if I’m growing old already, like I have lost so much time in my life.

Life really isn’t that long. There are babies who die before they’re born. Teenagers who die before they really lived. Adults who die at the peak of their lives. Then there are those who whiled away their lives. Those who live a normal, routinely life but really wanted to become a professional skydiver or sing on Broadway. When I thought about it, I realized I didn’t want to live that kind of life.

I don’t want to sit and watch American Idol when it could be me on that stage, belting out a rendition of one of my favorite songs. I don’t want to let myself down anymore than I have to, and go out and try and hopefully succeed. So I believe in carpe diem. I believe in everything that makes me the person I want to be, and I will “seize the day”, every day I can.