- by K Duron

There’s only 15 minutes till school starts, you really need some caffeine after that all-nighter you pulled finishing your English essay. But the line at Starbucks is too long, so you settle for a candy bar that you get from the vending machine.

You’ve been looking for the perfect new shoes, but you can’t find them anywhere, so you buy the first pair off the shelf that seem decent.

You feel that your teacher made a mistake in grading your essay, but she’s the teacher, so you don’t bother mentioning it.

You really hate that song on the radio, but you don’t change the station.

We all do things on a daily basis that seem to be just a force of habit. Like the situation that just happened was meant to happen, and it couldn’t be any other way. But that is called conformity. So your waiter didn’t take out the onions from your burger, but you eat it anyways because you’re hungry and you don’t want to wait any longer. But what’s so wrong with eating onions? Or getting a B on an essay? Or eating a Snickers for breakfast? Well, lot’s of things. But most importantly, every time you let something happen to you without you fully approving, you’re setting your standards low. Passiveness isn’t the solution to things you don’t like, or things that you know aren’t good for you.

The best part about being young and living in this country, is that you have choices. The government doesn’t ration your meal size and tell you how big or small your house can be and so on. If you walk into a car dealership and decide you don’t like their prices or their service, you can simply walk out the door and move on to the next dealer. Options. They are empowering once you realize how often you get them, and how often you actively use them.

If you are in a relationship that isn’t mutual, whether it’s a friend, a coworker, or a significant other, you have the power to end it. Why settle with a guy who doesn’t actually care much about you when there is someone out there who can’t stand the thought of being without you? Why watch a movie that you didn’t find interesting in the previews anyway? Why settle for something that won’t make you happy? Don’t. Don’t conform to foods you don’t like, material things you won’t use, or people who won’t appreciate you. Like the author Chris Brogan said, “Don't settle: Don't finish crappy books. If you don't like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you're not on the right path, get off it.”

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