BEACON

Lauren Norman

Lauren Norman, Editor

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   I believe a lot of things. I believe you should brush your teeth in the morning. I believe you should say “thank you” if you receive a “bless you” after a sneeze. I believe you should never abruptly stop walking in the middle of the halls. I could write an essay on any of those things, but if you’re going to read this, I want you to benefit from it. So, I believe you should do what you want in life. No matter how things look right now, do what makes you happy and do so without letting others’ opinions get in the way.

   When thinking about how to write this essay, I tried to think of something that I believe in that I could actually explain thoroughly and without finding a loss for words. This is it. A lot of times, especially as a young adult, I get caught up in the things that I’m supposed to do or that other people want me to do and it’s hard to get yourself out of that trap. I believe that those exact things, what you’re supposed to do, and what others want you to do, means nothing. Literally, nothing. You’re not supposed to do anything, but live your life to the fullest. Do what you want to do and without anyone holding you back.

   Whenever I think about that, I think of my little brother. We both grew up competitively swimming and since we were about 7 years old we were in the water. Both of us were quite good, I must say. But he was amazing. As we got older, although I improved, he improved greatly. He was really on his way to a scholarship and I have no doubt that he could’ve gone the Olympics. But notice I speak in past tense. My brother stopped. He fell out of love with the sport of swimming and although he could’ve gone far, he couldn’t continue to torture himself putting in so much time and effort into something that didn’t give him any real reward. Yeah, sure, he got some medals and trophies here and there, but those didn’t matter. He wasn’t happy and that’s what I want to point out.

   When he made the decision to officially stop swimming, people confused it with quitting. Quitting insinuates that when it got hard, he gave up. As I just told you, that was not the case. Instead of swimming, my brother decided to continue working at his real passions, poetry and photography. Now, he is performing at Open Mics, taking pictures more than ever before (and making money for it!!) and most importantly, he’s happy.

   My brother is the perfect example of doing what you want. It didn’t matter to him that he could have gone far with swimming, he didn’t want to! What mattered to him was his happiness. Now, that’s not to say when the stress of finals come around, quit school. You know that time will pass. But if you physically, mentally, and emotionally, cannot deal with the constant stress of school, remember it is not the only option. Nothing is absolute. There is always another way. I believe in doing what I love despite what everyone else thinks I  should do. The only thing you should do is what you want to do. I believe that 100% and so should you.

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The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.
Lauren Norman