Essay about Why I Quit Chasing the American Dream

669 Words 3 Pages
"Priorities" is a word that gets forgotten far too often. It's part of a national phenomenon, really. Americans boast about their way of life. We crow about our standard of living. We puff out our chests about being the world's last superpower. We try to force our way of life on others. If they just lived like us, we think, they wouldn't have the problems they do.

Americans do have it pretty good, at least compared to the rest of the world. But while we have the material things that make life more comfortable, many of us don't have lives. We often sacrifice those to get the fancy gadgets that give us status over other people. The most successful Americans hardly get a chance to live in the homes they've spent their lives working to
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My friends stop by for conversations that they have timed-"Okay, I wanted to say 'Hi' but I can only stay for five minutes because I have to go to the language lab and get to ballet practice by seven." Students here have day planners that allow them space for planning every minute of their day-which most of them do.

 

There is no room for intellectual growth when people are on the edge of their seats for four straight years. How can you grow if you don't have time to reflect? How can you figure out who you are if all you're concerned about is where you're going?

 

It's nearly the end of my second year, but that doesn't mean I can't change the way I feel about my life here. It's too harsh on my life and my being to be superwoman. "Priorities" is the operative word for me now, and I've decided that my top priority is to be happy. A lot of people have forgotten what it means to be happy. I won't be one of them

 

I worry sometimes about how my new attitude will affect the rest of my life. The commonly held assumption is that living life at warp speed is the direct path to success. Time is money, right? And if you're spending your time doing homework (which leads to good grades and thus a good job), or a business-oriented extracurricular activity (making those contacts for the real world), as opposed to enjoying the moment, you'll come out

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