Emerson and Individualism

Topics: Personal life, Sociology, Person Pages: 2 (634 words) Published: August 22, 2013
Allie Gutshall
Mrs. Bruno
Honors English 11
15 April 2008

Why do some humans succumb to peer pressure and so desperately want to be a part of the popular crowd? Clearly, those who apply such behavior to their daily lives lose their sense of self-being and mold to the ideas, behaviors, and opinions of the masses. Although some people still conform, a large movement towards the individual has begun to make an appearance. The successful beings of our society appear to think for themselves as well as participate in their own beliefs. This attribute of our modern society today reflects the philosophy of Emerson: individualism. We decide our own fate based on our individual actions and decisions. By not conforming to the ideas of others, each person can reach their fullest potential happiness and contribute to society at a higher level.

At one point in my high school career, I did anything and everything to fit in with the “popular” girls of my class. Every day, I worried that they would not like my outfit or that I would say something stupid. I constantly felt as if I were walking in a room full of broken glass, trying to avoid sharp shards with every step I took. It was not until this year that I realized what a folly I had participated in these last two years when a group of girls at my lunch table said nasty things about one of their friends when she left the table. At this point on, I decided I would find new friends. I didn’t choose friends in any particular formed group, only those who I enjoyed spending time around. This action granted me the power to be an individual. I fear no judgment of my beliefs nor my opinions and when I participate in any event, gossip, or beliefs, they are on my own accord, not to impress anyone, but to fulfill my happiness of which I can only fulfill by being myself, an individual.

Another place to be an individual today is in one’s college applications. Upon visiting Princeton and several other schools of...
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