Summer Silhouettes

College Essay number one: Common App.

Summer Silhouettes

“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading me wherever I choose.

Henceforth, I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune.
Henceforth, I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.”
-Walt Whitman

    It was a hot, damp summer. But a summer I shall remember for the rest of my life. At the beginning of my junior year I applied for Tennessee Governor’s School for the Humanities. I knew little about it, only that it was a competitive program and that, according to my friend who had attended the previous summer, it was a life changing experience. It wasn’t far into the program that I realized how truly right she was.

    After my acceptance, I began to wonder if four weeks away from home was really worth only two college class credits; I had never spent that much time away from home. When it was time for my parents to depart, I was hesitant. What if I didn’t make any friends? What if I got hurt or became ill? What if I just missed my family? However, I swore to myself-and our director- that I would give it one week. I would endure one week before I gave in. It took only one day.

    I missed my family, of course, but I began to overcome the homesickness with surprising speed. A sense of togetherness enveloped our dorm; we all entered in the same conditions: alone and a bit excited. A new world had opened itself before us, allowing us to explore ourselves, recreate ourselves. And that is precisely what I did.

    I entered the program as an emotionless pre-med student, with no genuine interest in science or medicine; It was simply the direction I had been pointed in my entire life. At GSH, as we called it, I was given the freedom to choose. I explored my interest in religion and English. I discovered I should never enter into the field of  journalism. Photography snuck its way into my life. I changed and developed with my peers in ways I would never have imagined.

    Throughout the sweltering weeks, I began to develop new dreams; I imagined myself in worlds that I had never considered before. By the end of the four weeks, law school beckoned me, and medicine faded on the horizon. The rutted path beneath me disappeared in favor of sunlit streets paved with dreams of  change. As I surge forward, pursuing my goals with a renewed strength, I am reminded of skies ablaze with oranges, reds, and pinks. I remember late nights with friends around the Qur’an. Sundown still beckons me out to sing songs of  peace around our beloved tree. Most importantly, memories of summer silhouettes propel me toward my dreams.

The End

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