Time For Students to Become Their Own Heroes

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Time For Students to Become Their Own Heroes

Sylvia Lanni

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The following article was originally written in the form of a speech. Sylvia Lanni, a junior enrolled in AP Language & Composition at WHS, delivered this speech, entitled “Being a Hero,” to her classmates. The speech has been modified from its original format.

Take a moment to think. Try to look back upon the moments in your life: every birthday, holiday, test, quiz, trip to the zoo, aquarium, science museum; every time you felt like you were going to pee from laughing too hard or cry because you just peed your pants from laughing too hard. Open your eyes. What do all those moments have in common? What links them together? You. You were and are the center of every one. Every single moment was taken  from your perspective and no one else’s. In your life, you are the protagonist. You make the decisions. You face the consequences. You run the story. If that is the case, then why would anyone write a bad story for him or herself? Why choose to be the villain when you can be the hero? In our own storybooks, we should all strive to be heroes for both ourselves and for others.

  When I was younger I truly believed I was a superhero. Not only was I a superhero, but also a princess, tiger, fairy, chameleon, and explorer. I was anything I wanted to be. We were anything we wanted to be. If a problem arose, all it took was a little imagination to figure our way out of things. We lacked all confinements, free to be and do anything. Then we grew up. Somewhere between then and now we lost that unjaded innocence to the harsh world around us. The labels others gave to us, and ones we gave ourselves, stripped us of our freedom. In physics this year we played a name game where we had to come up with one adjective to describe ourselves. I used smart because that is what I hear most often when people describe me, what I have started using to describe myself. I rely on a physical object, my grades, to define who I am. This idea appears throughout our teenage years. The attractive person has their looks, the musical person has their instrument, the brainiac has their brain. We let ourselves fall into these molds everyday, relying on them to define us. Here is the thing: there will come a day when you will run into someone that is smarter, more talented, better looking than you. What then? In your own eyes you will always be second best, a minor character essential for plot but nothing more. To be the hero, we have to define ourselves as the hero, embracing all parts of who we are to make a story worth reading. Being a hero means accepting who you are and striving to be the best you can be. Once you cast away all personal constraints, you become your own hero. You give yourself the chance to be whatever you want.

  The story of your life is like one big choose-your-own-ending book. We just have to be brave enough to make the decision ourselves. It requires a lot of courage to let go of traditional labels and carve your own way in the world, and even more courage to help others do the same. Taking that leap of faith will give everyone the chance to live happily ever after, the end.