A Tree and a Boy

The open response of the common application essay.

From Ohio to Kentucky to Massachusetts, some may call me crazy for having three different trees as my best friends, but I assure you that I am perfectly sane. For my first birthday, my grandparents flew to Ohio and gave me my first birthday present, a tree. The maple tree was planted in our backyard, and I always tried to crawl towards it. Crawling soon became walking, and walking became running.

After running, I only wanted to climb. I tried to climb the tree every day. The result was always the same: failure. I was only able to reach the top with the help of my parents. From the peak of the tree, I created many imaginary adventures. On Mondays, I fought mighty dragons that breathed fire. I explored deep caverns filled with sparkling treasure on Wednesdays, and on Fridays, I was a cowboy in the Wild West running from two sheriffs, my mom, and dad. My tree was also a place of peace. My mom read picture books to me under its shade. I loved Eric Carle’s books, especially “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” When my family left my tree in West Chester, Ohio for Bowling Green, Kentucky, I was filled with the mixed emotions of excitement for a new town and sadness of leaving the only place I knew as home. Entering the new house, my parents told me that I would soon have a baby brother. I jumped up screaming with joy and kicked the moving boxes as hard as I could breaking three snowglobes in the box. I finally had a friend to play with every day of the week.

A new maple tree was also planted near my new swing set in our backyard. My brother and I spent the humid summer days eating popsicles and swimming in the ice-cold water of our pool. The tree would grow arms and legs to help me in my quest to save my brother from the vicious sea serpent, my dad, that lived in the murky waters of Lake Doom, our pool. We were always victorious. My family traveled home to Ohio for a short visit after living in Kentucky for two years. The gorgeous maple tree now towered over me, but I still attempted to climb the impressive figure. I failed. After my last day of kindergarten, we packed our suitcases into the car; I was moving to Boston. I was excited to see my extended family, but I knew I would miss my friends. Living with my grandparents while our house was being built, my mom decided that another tree would be planted in our backyard. Over the last ten years, it has been used as cover for epic snowball and water balloon fights with my neighbors and family. The tree is first base in kickball, and the seventh hole in soccer golf, which uses feet and soccer balls instead of clubs and golf balls. Playing with Nerf swords and shields while acting like knights with my cousins, I am able to stand watch over the entire kingdom from atop of the tree, which serves as the main guard tower to Castle Blackspire, my house. The tree is the first Pokémon gym in our family’s quest to “catch ‘em all” while imitating Ash Ketchum. It is now my favorite place to read during the summer alone and with my family.

During the summer following my junior year, my family visited the Cincinnati area for a week. I gazed at the incredible maple tree that soared over me. I sprinted towards the tree fully knowing I would definitely be able to climb it without any help. I did. Now, a new tree looms waiting to be climbed. I am confident that I will be able to ascend any tree, while my own roots and branches will continue to stretch and grow.

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