I remember being in middle school, staring out the window at the fog covered hills with the rain pattering lightly on the glass. I would sit there at my desk, surrounded by scattered books and papers, with my hand planted on my forehead in frustration as I looked at the complex problem on my homework. Every now and then, I would give up and drink from my steaming glass of tea. I would feel a bizarre sense of relaxation come over me as the hot liquid voyaged down my throat. Suddenly, I would feel rejuvenated; it would give me the energy to go on and complete my assignments.
For the past five years of my life, I have been repeating this process religiously. As a result, I became somewhat of a recluse because I was always so preoccupied with my books. I never had the opportunity to go out and socialize and discover who I was. The older I grew, the more socially awkward I became, therefore I never established a balanced work to play ratio; I always worked more than I played. However, all that has changed since I have come to Vanderbilt.
I am well-known here. Everyone here either knows me personally, or knows of me. I have many friends who genuinely enjoy my company, and I actually enjoy theirs as well. There is no secrecy or competition between anyone here, and everyone is so kind. I will almost always see a familiar face whenever I walk around campus.
I have discovered that my ability to retain information in class has increased substantially. It is also much easier for me to pay attention than it was before. I accredit all these improvements to my demeanor; I am much happier now than I have ever been in my entire life. I feel as though I have finally achieved the freedom I have for so long yearned for.
Today, for example, I was able to do so many things that were both educational and fun. I went to class and learned how to implement a locked room murder in my mystery story, I laughed until tears blurred my eyes with my friends, I preformed a standard fencing routine with Hannah at a showcase, and I went to a pool party. I have done so much ( and learned so much) in just a single day. I am learning new facts about religion, science, and other topics from my peers everyday, and I am growing everyday.