Oh, the Angst! Oh, the Idealism! My College Application Essay on “Freedom”

I found this recently in a filing cabinet. I wrote it when I was seventeen – can you tell? ;)

I am posting it for Opinionated Man’s HarsH ReaLiTy challenge: http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/05/25/harsh-reality-challenge-got-an-opinion/. Enjoy!


“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose… It ain’t nothin’ honey, if it ain’t free.” – Me and Bobby McGee

Freedom is choice. There are always choices, even the choice of death. Force need never override the strength of one’s will or belief; it is a matter of importance, priority. Which is better, submission and self-treachery, or death with honor and truth? Who is “right,” the terrorist who murders others for freedom, or the kamikaze who kills himself for the freedom of others? I say neither. That’s not what liberation is meant to be.

Freedom is lack of fear, lack of the chains that bind our human hands to the rocks that lie trapped in the walls of Platonian caves miles beneath the earth’s surface. Within true freedom hide the gods, the gods of the souls of man. I might be an anarchist, but I do not believe in the laws of today. They are unreal; they must become unnecessary, natural, unforced, unimposed by the fears of the powerful. Liberty needs no rules nor restrictions. The frightened ones gasp – visions of murder, theft, rape, etc. consume their reason. Because detachment from authority alone cannot defeat crime; people must learn also to lose their own limitations. For it is secret fear and enforced convention that create violence; revenge on the species is the only release for the constrained mind. I may be an idealist, but I believe that only “good” is born of freedom; growth and achievement are its offspring. But detachment from the impositions of authority is not the whole; people must also let go of themselves.

Freedom is a necessity for the survival of everyone, everything. Bondage suffocates the spirit. Freedom is self-awareness. With understanding, the “unknown” shrivels, our fear of it vanquished. Magic is performed when fear is surpassed and chances and risks are taken and tried. In great art and poetry exist no boundaries, no need for limitations on expression, no repression. Freedom is total experience with all levels of reality, experimentation with its parameters. Yet physicaly, the drives for food, drink, sex, etc., must not be denied in the interests of metaphysical consciousness. The body permeates and reflects all of our existence and cannot be ignored; self-control must not force even the unusual impulsion into the cracked mold of confused convention.

Personal liberty is the solution to and elimination of the trials of the “civilized” world; in fact, it is the only goal worth the struggle. I could be ignorant, but I believe that society does not even recognize true freedom. Sadly, only those with “nothing left to lose” may attempt it, for rejection, humiliation, and scorn follow on the heels of real absolution. People will not accept what they fear.

So that’s me. That’s what I think; that’s what’s important to me. I could have taken this space to write about my class rank, or my College Board scores, or my extracurricular activities. All of which mean something. But humanity is humanity because of knowledge, and my thoughts are what distinguish me from every other primate. And I think – no, I know that freedom is life, and I cherish every second of it I have ever discovered. The nation, the world, the universe, is waiting to live and be free. And the whole of my being is devoted to the cause.


4 thoughts on “Oh, the Angst! Oh, the Idealism! My College Application Essay on “Freedom”

  1. Gail Gardner

    Few choose true freedom. Most accept the conditioning that pervades education and the media and live in an artificial construct much as it was picture in The Matrix. Many can not even imagine what freedom looks like. If they know anyone who chooses to be free, they probably consider them very odd, indeed.

    We are born with a desire for freedom. When asked what one thing was most important to me I chose freedom. Most choose an artificial illusion of safety. Far too few actually strive to achieve freedom until oppression drives them, finally, to rebel.


    1. lorilschafer Post author

      Truly insightful comments, Gail. I think you’ve hit it dead on with your remark about the “illusion of safety.” What we think of as “freedom” is more often about a perceived lack of oppression. It’s only when our “freedom” is restricted to beyond a certain level of social acceptability that we realize that it’s been missing all along.



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