Working Hard or Living Well

Mollie - Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
Entered on March 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

In the course of your life, you have thousands of opportunities to make decisions. You can either decide to spend your life working and being serious, or you can choose to live, fully and completely, laughing all the way. Personally, I choose the latter option. However, this does not mean that I believe in “skating through life,” so to speak. There are times when one must do things that he or she does not feel compelled to do. Oftentimes, there are steps that need to be taken in order to reach desired goals. For example, I want to attend the University of Michigan. If I do not study, I will not be accepted. I am a committed student, but I will not let the intimidation of college interfere with my overall happiness and love for living. In simpler terms, I believe in the frequently-used cliché, “there is a time for work and a time for play.” I cannot recall someone ever saying to me, “So-and-so was always so happy, he worked a 70-hour week in the office and was completely devoted to his job.”

Just three short days ago, a good friend of mine taught me something that I will not soon forget. Upon being snowed in at camp in Jackson, Michigan on Sunday, kids were given the option of going home or staying an extra night. My long-time friend, who had four tests the following day, could not decide whether to go home or stay with the rest of the group, who had made the near-unanimous decision to stay. Finally, he came to a conclusion, and he said, “What’s life if I don’t live a little? I’m staying.” He made me realize that life cannot always be based on the things that seem to control us, and that every once and a while we must break free and do what we please. Although it is safe to say this week has been a struggle, trying to catch up on missed work, I do not regret my decision I the least.

The moments in our lives that we remember the most are those in which we have extended the limits of the norm and have done simply what we pleased to do, and it is my goal to create many of them for myself.