Significant Experience

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The Effects of a Valuable Vacation

At some point in everyone's life, they go through a significant event that affects their perspective on existence, and helps them grow as a person. The event can be big or small, but the knowledge gained will be everlasting. When I was a junior in high school, I took a trip to Boston and New York for Spring Break. I went on this trip with my mom, dad, and friend Andrea. Through this trip I experienced American History, diversity, and learned more of my own cultural identity.

When I was a junior in high school, I was in Advanced Placement United States History. Through this class I learned how rich and diverse our American culture is. Having lived in the state of Washington my whole life, I had not seen any parts of the earliest foundation of our country. When I first arrived in Boston, I was surprised to see how old the city looked. It was nothing like back home. Rather, it had cobble stone streets and landmarks highlighting the "freedom trail" of historical sights through the city. Initially, I felt ignorant not knowing what to expect, but truly seeing the place I had heard so much about was a great learning opportunity.

One of my favorite places that I saw was Paul Revere's house. We actually walked down the street where he shouted his infamous warning, "the British are coming, the British are coming!" I also ate at the oldest restaurant in Boston and sat in former President John F. Kennedy's favorite booth. The restaurant was a compact and dark with the dining room upstairs and a bar downstairs. I could tell it was old because all the doors were smaller than those today, and the booths were made of wood. Eating in this place made me imagine what it was like back in the earliest days of our country. This expanded my imagination and also made me realize how far our society has come from colonial days. Another interesting experience was visiting Harvard. It is the first and only Ivy League school I have seen. At school I learned about how the university was founded so it was fun seeing the actual thing. We toured the campus and even talked to some students. Visiting that college campus was such a great opportunity, because at the time I did not know where I wanted to go to school. Seeing an old, prestigious school made me realize that it was not something for me. I preferred a large university in a different type of setting with more of a "football atmosphere." During this trip we also drove up to Salem, on our way to New York, to see where the Salem witch trials took place. This topic was something that really interested me, but I did not fully understand. We toured a museum that reenacted the trials and the reasoning behind why people were put to death. These deaths were all unjustified, but it showed me how society was run at that time. Things were not always fair, some people felt they were above the law, and you could not always count on the government or even your neighbor because they might turn on you. As we drove away, I was prepared to take in these experiences and start a new adventure in the city. New York is by far my favorite city that I have been to. As soon as we arrived I had a rush of excitement from the busy atmosphere. It was just as I imagined; an array of people walking briskly down the street, street vendors on the corners, businesses everywhere, and of course shopping. The first place we went that night was to the top of the Empire State Building. Overlooking all the city lights showed me that this city really never does sleep. We also encountered our first experience with diversity. On our ride down over seventy floors, the four of us had to share an elevator with a Chinese tour group. This does not sound like a big deal, but I have never felt so out of place. It was one of those awkward situations where you know that someone is talking about you, but it is in a different language, so there is nothing you can do. I learned I was going to have to start...
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