Random Enlightenment



Note from the Editor: This essay was submitted to the newspaper by the student’s tutor, Mr. Bryant. They both wanted to share the student’s random thoughts with all of us at Rectory.

Sometimes in our lives, we think too much of what others think. We care about the people around us when we make decisions.

First of all, you cannot say that thinking is bad. Different individuals live in different worlds. As we all know, nobody is the same, not only in their appearances but more importantly, in what they have been through. All people think differently, and it is so encouraging when someone else agrees with your decision. It sounds ridiculous, but it is indeed reassuring to have someone supporting you. And that is how a group works. In a group, different people believe in each other and pursue the same goal for and with each other. We cannot live without the existence of other individuals. However, it is also important to balance your attention paid to what other people think.

Think about it. A lot of what we do does not need to be done when no one else is around. Even a facial expression or an exclamation can be counted. For instance, when you are watching a comedy with some friends, and they all burst out laughing, while you do not find anything funny, in order to not be considered an odd person, nevertheless, you also start laughing. To some people, it is normal to act the same as other people in order to show that you are a part of the group. Those occasions are inevitable and happen to people all the time. If you do not feel like it, just do not act this way. The most essential point is to enjoy your time. When you act unwillingly in order to fit in a group, you are doing it for the purpose of having a good time with these people. But if you are feeling awkward with them, maybe that is not the right group for you. It is okay to be who you are when you are spending time with other people. They will not have a bad impression of you just because of one little move you make. If they do, just do not spend time with that group of people. Do not be afraid of being disliked. It is impossible to have everyone you meet be fond of you, but there is definitely an abundance of people who would like to spend time with you. That is just a simple example. The situation could get more complicated, but the idea remains the same. At all times remember that doing things you like and feel good about them should come before doing things others like to do.

Speaking of which, sometimes in my life, I think about reaching the expectations of others so much that I cannot distinguish between my hopes and others hopes. I have always been a person who highly values perfection. I want to finish every task I am given so much that I expect myself to do what others expect me to achieve. I enjoy the sense of achievement very much, but this often leads to stressing me out when I suddenly feel like I cannot do it. A great example which supposedly everyone has been through is applying for schools. Before I came to the U.S. to study, I learned about American schools and how many opportunities they can provide to students. Since then the dream of going to a famous college has come to my mind. How proud I would feel about myself when others show admiration after knowing the college that I graduated from. I would not even have to worry about having anyone wanting to talk to me. I would not have to worry about applying for a job. My future would no longer be a mystery! In the meantime, I realize that going to a famous college is not an easy feat. That means getting good grades, being a good student, getting into a good high-school, or even a good middle-school. Every step that I take is going to determine my destiny. After making into a middle-school in the U.S., I was very careful about every homework assignment that I turned in and every test that I took. This does not mean that I had paid any less attention at my previous schools, just that they have different education systems, so I concentrated on different aspects of my education. Fortunately and as I would have expected, I have been in the best section of my grade since the start of the year. I know that this is a precious opportunity which can be easily taken away if I do not pay close attention to what is happening. So I work hard. I listen. I read. I write. I do everything I can to improve. Meanwhile, I stress. I sigh. I groan. I feel frustrated when my grades do not turn out well. Then I work harder and repeat these steps over and over again. Until today, when I finally wondered, “What am I doing this for?”

Today, after listening to some inspirational words from seniors, I finally realized. We do not always have to be worried about being a perfect student. Actually, there is no such definition of perfect. Getting good grades is only one part. Not getting good grades will not stop you from being successful. And being successful does not necessarily mean going to a good college. As my mom told me before, the end of college isn’t the end of life. I did not quite understand it before, but now I do. People are right that good colleges foster successful people, but it does not mean that successful people must graduate from a good college. All that matters is how much you gain in life. Plus, there is no exact standard for a good college. Different individuals learn differently, and the good colleges are those that can help you become a better person.

It may be hard to accept that you may give up the chance to be admired by other people. But that is something that only shallow people pursue. When your experiences and your knowledge have achieved a certain level, you will no longer worry. You only need to be admired by yourself. You are the person who understands you the best.

Life is not easy, and I cannot guarantee that I have become wise enough to teach life philosophies to other people. I am not even sure I completely comprehend what I am talking about. The only reason for writing this is to remind me to make good choices. I do not like to make myself out to be more clever than others. These are just struggles that we all will have to go through many times in our lives. Sooner or later you will realize this if you do not perceive its meaning right now. This current moment is the youngest you are ever going to be in your life, so just cherish it and feel blessed to be who you are.

Above all, be true to yourself!