Personal Essay

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My friends and I decided to go to the beach on the first day of spring. On our way, we drove down Gateway Avenue, a street that happens to be lined with scads of Japanese flower trees. “Those are cherry blossoms. It is sometimes called the sakura after the Japanese. During World War 2, the cherry blossom was used to motivate the Japanese people”. I told my friends. Of course I received the inevitable question from the back seat, “How do you know that?” I had to ponder about that for a minute and then I knew; when I was in the second grade we started learning about plants. I can remember sitting in my mother’s car telling her about what I had learned that day at school, and she told me about all of the cherry blossoms lined up on Gateway Avenue.

My friends are always fascinated that I can hold onto information for such a long time. Of course my ability doesn’t impress me. What I find astonishing is the way that learning grows from itself, like a plant that blooms with the water you feed to its roots. Knowing one thing, learning about cherry blossoms led to my learning about something close to home, which lead me to learn about when the cherry blossoms were planted and who planted them, and what zoning rules were causing some of them to be preserved while others were cut down. Knowledge is just like that – you get a little bit of it and it grows.

When I think about entering my second year of college at a different university farther to home, about leaving the reality and sights that I’ve known and explored for years; I am filled not with fear, but with a rising tide of excitement. To live day in and day out in a place filled with people who are all in the pursuit of different branches of academia seems like the biggest dream come true for me. The ability to choose and specialize my pursuits and goals is thrilling.

Someday I hope to become a wise woman with achieved goals, and have the ability to pass on what I have learned into the future. What will be...
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