To Live Rather than Survive

This is not a story of triumph over adversity, but of hope. I have two supportive parents. I have never lost a loved one. I have never faced discrimination. Best of all, I have a place to call home. The American Dream so promised to the world, yet oppressed to those who don’t “belong”. Although not always grateful, I have come to realize how my affluent upbringing has provided me with such generous and unique opportunities, unlike some of my peers who I see struggling to make it day by day. Teens watching their mothers and brothers get beat by the bottle. Some afraid to find themselves because of the stereotypes perpetuated with their nationality or gender. Others are making poor decisions because they have never been given reason to believe in a better future, much less a future at all. The American Dream no longer an option while the potential of the world collapses as life becomes a burden instead of pleasure. Life is more than just surviving. Nelson Mandela once said, “there is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Unfortunately, some people don’t believe there is a better life out there for them, or that they have the opportunity to make that life a reality. I believe it is my calling in life to ignite the passion in their hearts for a life greater than what they know. It is important for me to help provide everyone not with a life of luxury but a life of opportunity, a life that they may write themselves.

Mandela also believed “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” and my goal is to prepare to move forward fully armed. College is filled with opportunities to positively impact others and make a difference in the lives of many. To be a part of an environment filled with hopeful minds ready to create a better world would be a dream come true. I hold myself to a high standard of excellence and believe in the power of structural functionalism in creating something incredible. I understand my responsibilities and look to fulfill them to the best of my abilities because it will not only better myself but those around me as well. Throughout my college experience I intend on gaining the skills needed to further my aspirations. I plan on majoring in cultural anthropology to enhance my understanding of the human race and continue my sociological questioning of it. After finishing my education I plan on applying for the peace corps, and from there I hope to pursue a similar career in international human services and humanitarian work.

As I begin my journey, I don’t want to be viewed as another privileged suburban girl blinded by my good upbringing assuming the world will change. I identify myself as an individual fighting for social equality, showing the world that there is more to life than the previous generations have discovered, and that it is our responsibility to understand the past while forging our own futures. After all, the way I look at it, you do one of two things in a lifetime: you either make the world a better place or you make it worse.  And believe me when I say, I have nothing but good intentions.

 

 

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