Individuals need originality for happiness

By Anna Solcher

When thinking of originality, I thought back to a specific poster in elementary with a school of blue fish going one way with one bright red fish going the other way that said “be unique.” Elementary schools seem to encourage individuality, but recently I have felt that everyone around me seems to be on a fast-paced track to the same place. Do well in high school, go to college, get married, have kids and die. That is what is expected, at least for me, to be considered “successful” in my life. With no room for originality, we are expected to follow social norms. Conforming to the expectations set in place before I was born sickens me. It is important to think for myself and make the decisions that will make me happy, not the original ones that are expected of me.
Expectations from society are different for each person, but regardless, the fact that a plan is already in place creates a false sense of security. In addition, our own plans will not always work out. I believe we cannot plan our lives. People try to plan each detail of their lives when in reality, life never works out in the way we want it to. No matter how hard we try, we cannot control everything that happens to us. That is what makes life so interesting. The tough thing for many people, including me, is rolling with it. When life takes a turn, we want to backtrack and go down the other path even when we know we are unable to do so. If we do not meet the expectations we set in place or society has set in place for us, we feel that we have failed in life. This is not the case. Happiness cannot be found in the things we accomplish but in the journey and being happy with where we end up.●