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The Important Decision

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Samantha Datnoff, News Editor

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“The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”- Anne Frank

 

The wise words of Anne Frank depict the most invaluable and essential lesson an individual could ever learn, the ability for one to become who they want to be based on their choices. Students hear phrases synonymous with this message every single day, yet few take the meaning to heart and apply it to their everyday lives. Why is this lesson so crucial?  It can change your life.

Students make choices every day ranging from things as minor as what outfit they will wear to school to whether or not they will do their homework. No matter where a decision falls on the scale of importance, every choice affects their habits and routine, in turn, determining the person they will become. One aspect which individuals tend to overlook is the effect a decision will have on their future. The world’s response to one’s actions may lead a person to commit to a certain lifestyle, and follow a certain routine that will define them for eternity.

One major decision which influences the character of a student from an early age is the people you surround yourself with. By nature, the environment a person surrounds themselves with impacts the behavior and motivation of the individual, thus creating the norms of a person’s life. When choosing people to befriend, not only is one selecting individuals who they will spend ample time with, they are accepting the values and behavior of these individuals. The amount of time and how one spends it with a certain group of friends will affect the imprint made on their personality, yet, ultimately, a person will inherit the habits and values of those who encircle them.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “people between the ages of 12 and 20 drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States.” A fraction of underage drinkers who begin drinking are pressured by peers to consume alcohol. In addition, the National Institute claims that teens who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop an alcohol addiction. What does this have to do with decision making? Unfortunately, the choice to drink before the legal age limit is extremely common among teens who are peer pressured. At age 15, 33% of adolescents have had at least one drink. Teens who choose to drink at an early age neglect to realize the effects alcohol has on their behavior, developing brains, and likelihood of developing a severe health ailment.

The act of succumbing to peer pressure is something that every student is guilty of, whether it be a small instinct or a heavily influenced decision. While it may seem the decision will only last for the moment, for the hour, or one day, there is no promising how one choice can impact a life forever. Just remember that in the end, with every choice comes an unpredictable consequence.

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The Important Decision