Life Choices – Philosophy Essay

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The choices we make build our future and guide our lives. Each choice that we decide on has an impact on our life whether it is good or bad. Through past experiences, some of the choices I have made have had unfortunate consequences. It is decisions like such, which we learn from and grow as individuals. However, many choices have rewarding and satisfying outcomes nonetheless. Most of our choices will affect not only us but often those around us as well. Because of the potential impact that choices can have on others surrounding us, it is important that we make certain decisions with great care and think through them thoroughly. The decision to make choices by the assistance of peer pressure has impacted the young adults during the 20th century substantially. Though many teenagers are excited to have the independence of making decisions, they often don’t do it without an opinion or two from friends. All decisions have their positive and negative facts however it is how you choose to deal with them that will determine how you handle everyday situations. Though the outcome most choices can be encouraging and positive, there are specific choices that are not. Many people become discouraged, embarrassed, and upset with the result of their choice but decide to learn from the situation instead of wallow in it. As Zig Ziglar explains, “If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.” Taking advantage of a bad situation has the potential to be a great learning curve in the end. For example, it was a Monday morning during grade ten science at Sardis Secondary when our teacher informed us that we had a test the next day and it would be worth fifteen percent of our term one mark. When I got home from school that day, I had a decision to make as to whether I would study for the test or not. I chose to relax with a bowl of popcorn and watch TV instead.

The consequence I suffered was a failing mark on my test, which lead to a low mark overall for the term. This was a great learning experience because I realized that if I had studied for my test, I would have received a higher mark, therefore an improved mark overall for term one. Since that experience, I have prioritized my afterschool time in order of importance, meaning that if I have a test scheduled for the next day, I focus on that subject for the longest amount of time. There was once a time that I felt sorry for myself when a choice I made ended with a disappointing result. However, learning about what I could’ve done better has had a much stronger influence during my everyday decision-making. Many people will agree when I say that making a decision sometimes not only affects you, but the people around you as well. Some decisions that will result will purely affect you, however there are many choices that will affect many more people. Sarah Dessen made clear that the decision you make are influential because “they all have the potential to affect your life, even who you are, forever.” For example, when I made the decision to quit my swim team, I didn’t think of the position I was leaving my fellow teammates in. I focused only on what I wanted to do, which was to stop swimming. Fortunately for me, the swim team members understood, and were able to compete without me for the duration of the season. Being on the receiving end of the situation doesn’t feel good either. Having experienced a team member giving up during a situation made me feel as if I wasn’t good enough for them. Many people don’t make their decision to intentionally cause a problem, they do it because they are unaware of the affect it has on people around them. Having said that, most people then learn from the situation and change their decision-making process by making sure to think of everyone who is involved in their life. By taking into consideration the position of which you are putting others in, you are displaying admiration and respect towards the people you love.

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Almost all teenagers will say that they love having the freedom to make their own decisions without a parent’s permission. However, there are some situations when young adults are influenced negatively by their fellow peers, when in the position of making a choice. Unfortunately some of those decisions made, can have a horrible consequence and can, at times, be life changing. When young adults act out and decide to make the wrong choice because of their peers, they suffer by knowing they could have done better, but chose not to. Friedrich Nietzsche insists that making the right decision is key: “A bad reputation is easier to cope with than a bad conscience.” For example, I was enrolled in English during my grade nine year, and we were assigned a worksheet that was due the next day. My class and I were having some troubles finding the answers in the textbook, and knew that our teacher kept the answer key in a binder on his desk in our English room. During lunch that same day, many students from my English class snuck into the English room and stole my English teacher’s answer key from the coveted binder. I could cheat with my fellow classmates, or take the mark that I rightfully deserved on the worksheet the next day. I unfortunately chose to follow my peers and cheat on our worksheet. The teacher found out the following day, and my parents were notified. In this situation, peer pressure did influence me into making the wrong decision. I could have stood my ground and “followed my gut” but instead, I “followed the pack.” Even though I have learned that you shouldn’t let the opinion of your peers influence your decision, many young adults have not. Although peer pressure can be difficult to deal with at times, it is key to always stay with your first instinct, and have confidence in your own decision-making.

When making decisions it is important to think of the result it will have on others around you, peer pressure getting in the way, and realizing that the outcome of a situation may not always be positive. Having said that, there is always room for improvement and opportunities to learn from the conclusion whether it is good or bad. Every decision we choose to make has an impact on our life in someway. The impact may be small yet powerful, or could be large and insignificant. I have learned and developed as an individual throughout the years because of the peer influenced situations, the negative outcomes, and the art of including others when making a choice.

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