There comes a time in life where one is forced to make hard decisions. Among those hard decisions are those of choosing between your personal and public life. As a freshman in college now, I’ve come to the realization of choices I have to make. I find myself having moments where I’m surrounded by my peers who love to party, drink, and smoke and I’m completely uninterested. Though these choices are considered immoral being the age that I am, this is what I’m choosing in order to build a brighter future for myself. In the reading provided “Mr. Rat,” the main character Matt had to make the choice of potentially losing his job or covering for a friend in a mutual work place. Matt chose to save face by throwing his friend under the bus. While Matt and I decisions on choosing our public life versus our public life are similar because the idea itself is considered immoral, our motivation for our actions differ.
Having to learn to take of myself at an adolescent stage in my life has taught me that nothing comes easy and time is money. College wasn’t promised to me. I worked hours on end on scholarships and essays to get my foot in the door. I have a clearer understanding of my purpose here and my priorities are currently unmovable. I make the choice to continue to focus on school and purse my career instead going out and building my social circle. Friends come and go. I very well may lose a couple of them but they aren’t going to help dig me out of my financial hole when I’m in debt. As of right now, friends are not a priority. Having this type of mindset at 18 years old is not morally acceptable because it’s expected that I party and not be as mature. The general idea of choosing my public life over my friends is how I feel I connect to Matt in “Mr. Rat.” Society feels you should cherish your friendships so our actions are equally frowned upon based upon what society feels our value system should be, despite the circumstance.
Though Matt was in a corporate environment, he was also put in a place where his future was brought into perspective and made him see in the long run what mattered most. On the other hand, being only 18 years old and making such a decision under pressure in college is how Matt and I differ. Matt, in his late 20’s, is making this decision at work because he felt he was making a point and depicting a certain image to impress his boss. His friend was thrown under the bus in the process and could very well lose his job. In doing this, it shows how our motivations were also completely opposite. I simply realized I don’t have time to waste. I came here to earn my degree and to work in order to continue to support and provide for myself. I, personally, am not jeopardizing any of my friends’ futures to get what I want.
Peer pressure is at its best when friends express how I should get out more and don’t need to be so uptight about everything right now. My mature mind set to stand my ground and focus despite my various distractions is all that I have to motivate me. Every choice followed by an action has a consequence. Matt’s choice to save his ass over his friends could lead to regret and loneliness in the future. The only gray area about my decision is the outcome in the long run. For right now, I do have moments where I get the feeling regret and loneliness since no one is necessarily as serious about my future as I am. I’ve learned to trust that my decision will pay off and I’ll eventually be glad when I come out on top.
Friends will also come later. I just haven’t gotten there just yet. Though my choice is just as equally immoral as Matt’s, I do feel I had a better grasp on the concept because of my circumstance. I don’t feel choosing your public life to get over on a friend is right. His ego played a part in his decision and that’s not acceptable all the time. Matt could have very well side stepped the question or worked his way around it. Deciding to automatically drop his friend for greed is selfish. My ego may also play a part in my decision but it’s not interfering with anyone else’s life. It’s to earn self-accomplishment and success. Society’s views on my decision aren’t considered either because they won’t be there when I chose to be moral and fell on my ass.
Courtney from Study Moose
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