Reflecting on Walden
A Teenagers Guide to Conformity
“Why should they begin digging their graves as soon as they are born?”
This is the first essay that I get to write with total freedom to do whatever I want. I am really being forced but school is like that and I have to do it. I’m supposed to be writing about to the first chapter of Walden, Economy. I was hoping for smooth sailing to Graduation but deep down I already knew that the work load wasn’t going to change. I never done this type of writing and I am not very comfortable with it. I am sure that this is not going to be my best writing. I am going to say, not following a rubric like a machine feels great and I feel like I can take this anywhere. A thesis has never been my strength. I don’t like having to condense what i’m going to write about in a sentence. So, my thesis is just going to be that I have to reach 600 words to complete this assignment.
When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only.
Life sometimes feels like I have to follow a standard or be a robot to fit in. Living alone in the wilderness seems like a way to get out of this routine. Sometimes I wish I could live alone in the woods and do whatever I want kind of like this essay. Imagine the freedom to get out of bed every morning and say “No one can tell me what to do, I can do whatever.” School feels more like I have to go to class and then come home to do my homework, day after day. Walden agrees, that “He has no time to be anything but a machine” and has no time to for freedom because he has to conform to standards.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats.
Walden and I can’t be the only ones that feel that way if the majority of men resign themselves to conformity. I want to try and never give in to conformity and live a life of my own that reflects my interests. Everyone should try to live a life that is meaningful and purposeful to them as individuals. We should all try to follow our dreams rather than ‘going along to get along’. I always feel like school is for nothing. I will be sitting in math and I will think to myself; “when am I ever going to need to know how to simplify radicals.” Sometimes I feel like I am like Walden, living of life of quiet desperation, because I feel like I have outgrown Fenn and am ready for change. Moving to a new school next year will give me that opportunity just as moving into the woods did for Walden.