Thanks for the help everyone. I'll post the essay here.
Issue of Importance Essay to UT Austin by Newman Mi Liu.
"The unexamined life is not worth living." -Socrates
My eyes squinted as the warm glow of the sun penetrated my windows. An unwelcomed ringing noise disoriented my senses. Every muscle in my body screamed at me to stay down, but my head knew better. Lukewarm water splashed onto my face. A leftover chicken breast squished between two slices of wheat bread entered my mouth. "What could be on today's schedule?" I asked myself with great apathy.
This has been my life for the past few years. I am a victim of routine; I am a creature of habit. I wake up, wash, brush, eat, go to school, eat, go to work, go home, eat, brush, wash, and sleep. Rinse and repeat. Life is full of sensational wonders to explore, yet we are perfectly content with conforming to our everyday routines.
How much of my lifestyle is surviving, and how much of it is living? These words, surviving and living, are often used synonymously, but in this context, their meanings are miles apart. People need to survive before all else; there are no arguments against the basic hierarchy of needs. I routinely attend school to receive an education and enable greater career opportunities. The person assessing this essay needs this job for a necessary income to support him- or herself. But, when can we stop living to work, and start working to live?
"The less routine the more life." -Amos Bronson Alcott, American reformer
Change is the greatest catalyst to dispelling monotony in one's life. An unfortunate subsequence is the fear of the unknown. By stepping out of our comfortable boundaries, we no longer feel safe. For this reason alone, the majority of people refuse change; we live by the popular saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." However, as long as we keep rejecting change, we are broken. We become a record player playing the same small portion of a song over and over again, and if left unfixed, the record player dies before it completes the song. The drastically oversimplified analogy surprisingly describes most of our lives today.
Not only is leading a routine life boring, but it can also lead to serious issues such as dementia. When we cease to introduce thought-provoking activities to our brain, the risk of life-threatening conditions increases. Our brain begins to fall into a state of atrophy as our lives become less excitable. Exercise is vital to the brain like it is to the rest of our body. Gradually, we should adopt new interests, and enlighten our minds with something different. Learning a new skill such as a language or a dance will prevent rust from forming in our cognitive chains.
Life is too short to be wasted on the same occurrences day and night. Changing and examining our lives does not equate to disorganization; we can step out of the traps in our homeostatic lives without chaos ensuing. The age-old excuse of not having enough time can be valid from time to time, but it should never keep us from fulfilling a more productive life.