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This I Believe: I AM More Than A Number

Carter Staley / NPR Illinios | 91.9 UIS
Sophia Ashebir - Springfield High School

The world is filled with numbers. A bunch of ones and zeroes that make up the world. Numbers that tell you what items are valued at. Numbers that tell us when to wake up. Numbers that tell us what time to go to sleep. Numbers that tell us our rank in society. Numbers that tell us our intelligence level. Numbers are everywhere in the world. 

They degrade humans into believing that we are numbers. Numbers control our lives based on money, sleep, weight and thought. However, we are not numbers. The world is more than numbers. I am more than numbers. Human society does not get to put me in a box based on a number. I am more than a number; I am me.

In elementary school teachers would give tests. They would give tests to measure how fast you could multiply and divide. Teachers would also give reading tests to measure how fast you can read and if you can comprehend the material. At the end of the year one would take a big test that would act as a judge for where you would be placed. As a kid you think these tests are pointless and will not affect me. Yet, little do they know those tests are paving the pathway for their future. In elementary school, 8-year-olds are being judged. Those scores from the multiple tests, and reviews from your teachers determine, whether one will be in the high track classes or the low track classes in the grades above. If a kid is put in a low track class they're then socially labeled as a low track student, which limits improvement. Those initial numbers at the beginning of your educational career, determine where your education will take you.

In high school they are forced into taking standardized tests such as the ACT and SAT. These scores play a huge role in one's life. They control what colleges you get into, what jobs you will get and what you are labeled as to society. However, it is not only standardized testing that is controlling students. Other numbers such as GPA, class rank and more degrade students' values and personality by putting them in a box. The vicious cycle of class rank against your peers decides how much money one can get from schools, let alone if you can get into your dream school. Numbers control how many scholarships one can get, how many acceptance letters you will receive, and how you will live for the rest of your life.

One may think after high school you're no longer labeled as a number. False. The world we live in never forgets what number you are. May it be how much you make, how much you weigh, how tall or short you are, how many followers you have, how many likes you get on pictures, how many retweets you get or how many people are there for you at the end. The world we live in only sees you and me as a number. Even though adults say do not judge others, they judge. Even though kids are told to love one another. Adults don't. Even though society preaches to be thankful and grateful. We aren't.

This world of numbers controls us. Controls who we are. Controls who we can be. Controls who we should be. Even after we grow old and die our numbers still control us and the ones we love. Because in the society we live in today, numbers don't die. However, we have the power to show the world we are more than just one number, this I believe.

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