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Smart decisions lead to smart results
Sean Zottnick, a student at Lakeview Academy, placed third in the Hall County Optimist Club’s essay contest. He is the son of Dr. Kerry and Lynn Zottnick.
Today's choices affect my future because all of my actions have consequences. Every choice made has consequences, either good or bad. The path less taken may create a better outcome for me in my future, but my choices made today help me to get on the path for success. Today's choices affect more than my future; they also affect my character and how I appear toward other people.

If I make a good choice, I can usually be assured of a good outcome, but many times even a good choice may not produce the greatest positive effect. The quote "doing what is right isn't always popular, and what is popular isn't always right," sums up this philosophy. For me, even though my choices may be right, sometimes those choices may not make me the most "popular" person.

I don't think about the choices I make; I just use my common sense to make them. Sometimes my ego seems more important than my common sense which leads to my making bad choices.

Sometimes when I make bad choices, those choices may create a good image of me toward the crowd with whom I would like to fit in. Sometimes to try and create an image of myself by doing a stunt, I make a fool of myself. Usually the bad choices I make receive positive feedback from my peers, but mostly though, the feedback from people that I care about is negative.

Many times my choices are made because of a position I am put into. The situation is majorly a part of my choices, good or bad. If I am around bad company, for some weird reason, my choices may still be kind of unpopular, but they will still be respectable. I may not be the most popular guy around the halls of my school, and probably not everyone will agree with the things that I do. However, the choices that I make are my own; thus the consequences are my own. Whatever path I choose will always show my true character.

As a teenager, making choices is difficult. The choices made today will affect my future education, the careers I might pursue, and even my friends and family. When I look back on my time in high school, I want to be able to say that the choices I made were the best ones for me. That means I must learn to make my chocies intellectually and not emotionally.

Even if my choices mean I take "the path less traveled", and my peers choose another direction, my choices will impact my future, and thus, are extremely important.

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