Everything that I believe in my life has been because of the people around me. I’ve been given information, taken it in, and accepted it. I have been completely dependent, and rested in the quiet assurances that whatever my parents said had to be right. This innocence is normal to be sure, for as a child my job was to learn as much as I could.

Although, as I approach my eighteenth birthday, I realize that I am no longer considered a child. I may feel like one, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am on the brink of adulthood. With my eighteenth birthday will come many changes–the biggest being I will go to college, and for the first time live somewhere other than my home. I’m going to be on my own–able to ask questions and test authority and form my own opinions–and it’s scary. No one will continue to tell me how to behave or what to think. It’s going to be time to start deciding for myself. The power that I have is unfathomable. There are infinite choices I can make, endless paths I can choose. That makes it all the more difficult. I try to think of what I believe, not what my parents have told me, not what they have implied, but what I feel is important. Surprisingly, I can find no real direction in my findings.

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I believe in being able to see from different points of view, and appreciating each one of them. I believe in the art of crying, and its therapeutic benefits. I believe in reading long novels on rainy days, and I believe in the satisfaction I get after being the only one to answer the impossible question on the board in calculus. I believe in kindness, and that I should do my best to be kind, even if someone else isn’t. I believe in sleeping with three comfy pillows every night. I believe in helping the world in any way I can. I believe in making a contribution to society, even if it isn’t very big. I believe that I have a purpose in life, and that I will someday fulfill it. I believe in wishing on star…

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