Min Joo - Tilton, New Hampshire
Entered on April 1, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem
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When I was a tenth grader, I thought I was miserable. I thought I had many disadvantages due to my young age. People did not really pay attention to me, and there were many things that I could not do: I always had to follow teachers and the fixed schedule of the school. On the other hand, juniors and seniors in my school seemed to have more freedom than I did. So, I believed I could be in better situation in my junior year; I would have more options in choosing classes and school activities, and I would be less managed by adults. Junior year would make me happy. So, I was always looking at calendars and I was always waiting for the ‘next year’ when I would be happy and be free in my ‘future’.

However, if you ask me today if I am happy since I became a junior, I honestly do not know. Do I have what I wanted? Am I happy because I am in the ‘future’ that I was always looking for? No. I am still the same person who I was before. In fact, compared to last year, I have not changed; I am not happy and I am still looking for the future. When I realized that truth, I felt empty. And then I felt stupid. I have lived to get to this moment, but I’m not as happy as I thought I would be.

Yet, people around me also live for their future. Last year, Korean seniors in my school used to talk to me about their ‘next year’. They were looking forward to college and summer. But, what about ‘now’? Why am I here ‘now’? What do I want from ‘now’? If I don’t want to be here ‘now’, why would I stay here? If I don’t consider myself in the present, but look forward for the future, this moment would be boring and useless. Besides, I would be anxious. While I was waiting for the junior year, I was nervous all the time, so I could not concentrate on my work as a sophomore. I was losing my present moment because I was dreaming about the future.

This moment is what really precious to me. I try not to think about the future; I think about myself in the present. I do my best on my work not because I want a better ‘future’, but because I want to fully live this moment. I also learned that I can have the future that I wanted before when I concentrate on my present. I believe in my self in the present. I believe when I fully live my self, I am happy.