Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
Even at 6:30 in the morning, with blurry eyes, wet hair and a to-go mug of tea, I always find that my breath is taken away by the sight of my bus stop. It faces the Chesapeake Bay, looking over a stretch of grass that slopes down to the water. On a clear morning, I can see the ever-moving line of cars cross the Bay Bridge to the north, watch the sleepy towns on Maryland’s Eastern Shore twinkle to life, and follow the path of a crab boat as it hauls in its cargo before dawn. To the south, I can see an expanse of open water that leads to the mouth of the Bay, and to the Atlantic Ocean.
For a few months each year, before it gets too dark, the sunlight spills over the horizon and paints the sky in vibrant orange, delicate pink and soft, creamy yellow, fading to a deep, velvety purple-black at the top of the sky. On those mornings, I stare out and eagerly consume the view I’ve been given, and the day that follows is always a little bit brighter.
I’ve seen the view from my bus stop nearly every day for fourteen years. Naturally, it’s easy to take such a privilege for granted. But I know without doubt that where I’ve lived, and what I’ve gotten to see, has shaped who I am and who I will become. I’ve been fortunate enough to see the horizon almost every day. Although I was not, in fact, seeing France across the ocean, as I believed when I was young, I’ve realized that seeing a wide expanse of water and sky has altered my own horizons. I see more of the world while waiting for my bus than many people see in their whole lives, and, as a result, I see more of my own potential. I am not bound by a limited view of the world, or by a limited view of myself. The future, for me, has always been a vast expanse of water in every direction, and a sky that fills up my entire vision.
At school and elsewhere in my life, I try to see the beauty in any situation. The classes I’ve enjoyed the most deal with understanding the human condition from various perspectives: math, history, economics, music. I’ve always challenged myself academically, and endeavored to meet my potential. I feel passionate about my community, about the health of the Chesapeake, and the health of its citizens. I’ve worked, through my school’s student government and through public testimony, to bring light to issues that concern students and other community members. My environment has shaped my life, my passions, and my character. In my future, I want to travel the world, to see the very limits of the sky that I see in the morning. In college and beyond, I want to improve peoples’ lives through legislation and policy, and I want to make sure our world stays beautiful by protecting our natural environment.
I realize how lucky I am to be able to view my life in such a way. Not many people have the opportunity or the means to view their future, or their potential, as limitless. When I leave for the next stage of my life, wherever that may be, I will see the sunrise and think of the view from my bus stop. I wish everyone, for a moment, could experience the feeling I have when I see the sun burst out over the land.