Into The Wild - Allison Casey          

Into The Wild Essay

Throughout my school career, I always thought of summer reading as a way for teachers to torture their students. I never gained anything from anything I read, primarily due to the fact that hardly any of my teachers ever actually brought up the books during class. When I saw the list of four books I was required to read for AP language and composition, my expectations were low to say the least. However, after I read Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and learned the life story of Chris McCandless, my life was forever changed. His unyielding courage, love of nature, and his deep compassion for life as become deeply ingrained into my personal philosophy on life in general, as well as into the person I am becoming.

Courage can be defined as having the ability to do something that frightens you, something beyond your comfort threshold. McCandless had the courage to take off (alone) into the unknown – the wild. He had a clear view of what he wanted from his life, and unlike so many people today, he went out there and took it. I strive to have that same courage. Because of McCandless, I know when I look back on my life fifty years from now, I will be able to say that I wasn’t afraid to go after what I wanted from life, that I didn’t let my dreams pass me by.

McCandless’ love of nature is something that has had a profound impact on the way I view life. His story has taught me that the superficial things that society cares about so much today (cell-phones, iPads, the hottest new apps) are nothing compared to what we already have, right in front of us. Because of McCandless, my appreciation and love of nature grows by the day, by the minute even. I work at a garden store so I can be outside more – a luxury I wouldn’t be able to have with just any job. Just as McCandless, being in nature has given me the opportunity to evaluate what it is that I truly care about, and what kind of person I want to be. McCandless has made me want to be the person who sees and appreciates everything that is beautiful about the world, the person who doesn’t let the material things in life impede upon her core values and principles.

I don't have words for how much his story has moved me, all I know is that it changed my life. You'll never be forgotten, Chris.
Allison Casey

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