The Backyard

Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

I remember when the flowers stopped blooming.

All throughout my childhood there was always one thing that would instantly make me happy. I had a beautiful backyard in my childhood home. The smell of the ripe red mango trees and the chirping of the blue birds always roused my senses. I lived for the freshly cut green grass and the lovely white orchids hanging by the patio. What really made my backyard stand out was the majestic fountain carefully crafted in the center. My favorite memories are when I would bathe in the large limestone fountain and my parents would be watching me from a distance. Those are the days that are so vivid in my memory.

Routinely, my father always made sure the fountain would continually spout water from its elegant pores, and my mother would always plant exquisite flowers of deep fuchsia and subtle orange. I would contentedly watch them work in the background on the long summer days as the horizon of my wooden fence began to swallow the sun in its entirety. I was surrounded by bliss as the fragrance of the sweet peas lingered in the new light, and the sky was a picturesque shade of purple. One day, however, the beauty began to collapse. The decay of my backyard mirrored the decay of my own parents’ marriage. My heart began to beat slower and slower each day with this harrowing consciousness.

When my father left, the regal fountain I had always admired came to a halt, and water has never sprouted out from it again. The sweet peas and the white orchids, even the daisies, refrained from smiling, yet the poor soul of my backyard kept fighting for its beauty, yearning to be nurtured. Sadly, that dream never came for my backyard or me, as the long grass and weeds of foreclosure consumed my house. Once situated in our new, quaint apartment, I decided to make my own garden.

From then on, I decided never to depend on my parents’ marriage or any force in the world to construct my own happiness. I realized that I must create my own pleasure, and it must stem from the roots within me. I filled my balcony with tulips, lilies, daisies, even cactuses, and most importantly the white orchids I everlastingly enjoy. The fresh self-beauty within me spread out onto all the plants and creatures on my balcony and ricocheted into my attitude towards life. Without the establishment of my own happiness, I could never reach my dream of helping others reach theirs. Now, I can positively say I am at peace with myself.

From gloom to bloom, my happiness reawakens as I look out onto my balcony and see the orchids in the radiance I’ve always known.

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