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I left freshman year taller, harrier, and a lot more confused about the

world than the blissfully ignorant 8th grader that had entered. I dont know
whether it was a result of the actual physical growth to my cranium, or
whether the little wisdom I was able to scrape together in my short 15 years
of life had reached some sort of benchmark, but the way I thought began to
drastically change. New ideas and questions would pop in and out of my
head, leaving me in a constant state of confused wonder. The more I thought
about these questions, the more they would grow in complexity. I became
interested in new topics that had previously seemed unimportant. In school I
was captivated by politics and race issues in America. Outside of school I
slowly chipped away at questions about morality and religion. Each new
realization I had, felt like my own little piece of transcendence. At the time it
felt like a sort of renaissance of the mind. I was learning the most I ever had,
and enjoying life like never before. By the end of sophomore year my
thoughts were increasing exponentially. Junior year I took an English course
on psychology. This class guided my mind to a whole new frontier of
profound and abstract thought. I started questioning human nature and the
existence of a universal good. These are very complex subjects, and no
matter how long I meditated on them, I was unable to reach any satisfying
conclusion that would put my curiosity at bay on these subjects. To my
surprise, not a single one of my teachers or any book on philosophy I
acquired was able to give me any concrete answer to what laws govern the
universe. The idea that good might not exist, that my existence, the
existence of every one I had ever met, everything that I had seen, everything
that I had ever felt, was the result of nothing more than a series of arbitrary
coincidences disturbed me in a way I had never felt before. This was the first
time something I had taken completely for granted was being questioned,
and it really shook my foundation. The idea of undeniable truth had been
comforting. A set of universal principles that everyone lives their lives by and
are measured against. It gave the world some order; some meaning. The
idea that everything was nothing more than a purposeless manifestation of
matter devastated me. If something as significant and influential as the
concept of good could be questioned, what couldnt be? This realization
reinvented how I saw the world. I began to pull every single aspect of my life
into question. It slowly became uncontrollable. I wondered how everything
got to be the way it was, overwhelmed by the seemingly simple idea that it
all couldve been completely different had there been one more arbitrary fact
in the grand scheme of things. Eventually this bombardment of thoughts
started to become a real burden and my questioning problem only grew
worse through the rest of junior year. The fact that no matter how much I
thought about them, the questions that meant the most to me just couldnt
be answered changed something in me. I began to sort of lose interest in
myself. I just seemed so unimportant. I was being haunted by the most clich
philosophical question in history. What is the meaning of life? I couldnt
understand how people could get through there day to day lives without the
answer to this question. Ive always been the kind of person who needs to

know why I do something, before I do it, and I needed to know that this was
all for something; the pain, the work, and the suffering. I needed to know
that love, and happiness, and excitement, were more than just chemical
reactions inside a big chunk of meat in your skull. And nothing was telling me
that. I was being pulled into crippling depression. I felt like I was seeing the
real world for the first, but I didnt like one bit of what was in front of me.
Everything I had previously given value now seemed to have been nothing
more than the result of ignorance. I lost hope in myself and the world, and it
seemed to me there was no value in the life myself, and everyone around me
was living. I was left feeling small, helpless and lost. I lost all my motivation
and it seemed there was no legitimate reason to put effort into anything I
did. My life seemed to be of no importance to anything other than the fake,
superficial society I was a part of. There was nothing that I really wanted, and
it seemed the only thing in life worth doing was indulging in small pleasures
while waiting patiently for the ride to be over.
But during the end of my junior year I began to realize something. My
life was of importance to me. I know that sounds obvious but it only really
sunk in then. Regardless of whether or not this divine truth I had been
looking for exists, I am only human, and have an entire life ahead of me on
this planet. It occurred to me that I only have one life to live, and one person
to be, and that theres no reason not to try your best in this crazy game
called life. Once again, I know this seems obvious but in the fog of
depression it was anything but clear. What I also realized is that I wasnt
happy, and thats theres one thing that is truly necessary in life and that is
happiness. Coasting along through school and through life was not making
me happy so it seemed apparent that I would have to start making moves of
my own in order to achieve some fulfillment in life. I am still as confused as
ever about the inner workings of the universe, but it longer dominates my
mind or my life, and thankfully as soon as its power over me had gone, my
happiness returned. It sits somewhere in the back of mind, in plain sight but
no longer noticed. Ive even come to appreciate it as the little bit of magic
left in the world.