Young Writers Describe Things Everyone Should Do at Least Once

Age 17, Bradford, Vt.
Monday, November 27, 2017

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit based in Burlington that engages middle and high school students from anywhere in the world — to write, to express themselves with confidence and clarity, and to connect with authentic audiences — through publication of local writing every week in this newspaper; through YWP’s website, youngwritersproject.org, and monthly digital magazine, The Voice; before live audiences; and with other media partners, including vtdigger.org and vpr.net. YWP is supported by this newspaper and foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing.

This week’s prompt: Once: What is the one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their life?

Experience Love

There is a myriad of things one should do at least once in their life; it’s like picking one single ember out of a camp fire. Humans are very opinionated creatures, therefore I hesitate to trim the hedge of life down to a single branch, but alas it must be done.

Everyone, everywhere should love. Love is arguably the strongest emotion present in the human mind, up there with fear and excitement. Love isn’t always a beautiful thing; love can bring happiness but it can also bring immense sadness. Furthermore, love isn’t always what it is cracked up to be, but the world wouldn’t be habitable if people didn’t love the planet we live on. People who love the earth take care of it; love is the sole reason that our planet is still spinning.

Without knowing love you will never truly learn compassion and other valuable life lessons. Without love I don’t think I would have truly discovered myself. At this point in my life I have loved and love multiple people and I think altogether I am better off because of this. Everyone one this planet should experience love and compassion at least once in their life. Love is a beautiful thing.

Jump In

… When you are 60 and retiring, you want exciting stories to tell your grandchildren about and then follow up with, “But you should never do that!”

One of the many things that is exciting but not too dangerous is to jump off a bridge (or cliff) into water. The higher the bridge the scarier — therefore, more fun. Until about a year ago I couldn’t imagine myself doing this. I have a fear of heights and jumping off a bridge would be one of the scariest things I could think of.

I asked a friend to swim with me and when we got to the river, at least three people were jumping off the one-lane bridge into the water. I thought “no way” as I watched them jump and counted the seconds before they hit the water. When I walked over and looked over the edge of the 20-foot bridge I had to take a step back. I looked again. Around me people kept jumping and running back up the steep hill to go again. The longer I looked down, the scarier it got. But seeing their enthusiasm, the fear disappeared into excitement. I held hands with the person next to me and jumped. The water must have been cold but I didn't notice. We cheered and I did it again. … The way the bridge shook as a car went over, the sound of people splashing in the river, the laughs and shrieks — it was exhilarating. I will never forget this experience.

Keep a Journal

I believe everyone should try keeping a journal. A journal has helped me tremendously for a long time. I think writing is the best way to say everything that pops into my head even if it doesn't make sense. Journals don’t have to be a permanent thing. I personally have about five different journals. Whenever I feel the need to clear my head, I will find one of them and just write. I feel less stressed and less overwhelmed after I write. Writing everything down really lets me see my life as a whole and not just 20 different thoughts floating in my mind. Most of the time, I realize my life wasn't as crazy as I thought.