My Declaration of Independence*


When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one person to go to college, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that she make a difference. Even if not all of the words are mine, they mean something to me. As a matter of fact, some of the words should mean something to all of us.


I was in the eighth grade when I realized that our nation’s history was very interesting. From that point on I went about trying to convince my friends that we should be proud to be Americans. Thomas Jefferson and the fifty-five other men who signed the Declaration of Independence felt that all of us were due the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They felt it was not just their right, but their duty to rid themselves of the government that did not grant them these unalienable rights. Patriotism aside, I wanted to make a difference in the world.


Once I realized this, it was easier for me to know what I needed—and wanted—to do. Eighth grade U.S. History gave me an aim and high school has given me a purpose. It is now that I am ready to face the world. There is a story about a man who was walking along a beach and picking up starfish, then throwing them back into the water. Another person comes up and says, “With all of the beaches in all of the world covered in starfish, how can you hope to make a difference?” The man smiled, picked one up, threw it back in, and then said, “It made a difference to that one.” If I could make a difference to one person somewhere, then my life will not have been wasted. Thomas Jefferson did not live in vain, and I hope the same can be said of me.


Unfortunately, striking out to make your fortune at eighteen is not highly recommended. I have an aim and a purpose, but I have not yet garnered the education to back my high aspirations. So I come before you, baring my soul, in hopes that this will become a step on my ladder to enlightenment. Now that I am dedicated to a cause, as vague as it may be, I am ready to roll. I am prepared to do my best. More than 200 years ago, we freed ourselves from oppression with a few words. Today, I hope to battle injustice where I can with a few actions. I have pledged my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor to this daunting task before me, and I feel ready. I am ready to learn and to excel at the tasks placed before me. I am ready to lean and to follow when necessary. I am ready to grow.


*Some of the words, thoughts, and ideals in this essay are taken from the United State’s Declaration of Independence.