Ever since first grade I have been growing up in the small town known as Haddonfield, New Jersey. Besides being known for its historical charm and poloshed appearance, it is also known by other nearby high schools as a force to be reckoned with. In almost every sport imaginable Haddonfield Memorial High school dominates local competition matches, tournaments, and state finals. In addition to having some of the most talented athletes the school takes pride in being a blue ribbon honor school and taking great pride in the high academic achievements of almost all of its students. These high expectations come at what I believe to be a high price for the students who have to fill them, and that is unyielding stress. No matter how well you succeed you are constantly reminded that you could be better and someone who once attended this school did do better. After nine months of this daily accentuation there was nothing that I coveted more than a trip to the Jersey shore.
From the moment I arrived in Ocean City, New Jersey this summer a sense of relief washed over me. The humid heavy air hung over me like a comforting blanket soothing away all my previous fears of failure. Every morning I would wake up to radiant sunlight trickling into my room and I would slowly ease my way towards the beach. As soon as my feet were being immersed in the hot sand below me I knew I had entered a new state of mind. At the beach the real world seems to disappear like a fading memory. Everyone seems to be content with just laying out on blankets and beach chairs and just taking in the magnificent vistas that surround them. The only question that shrouds my mind is what should flavor ice cream cone should I get from Kohr’s brothers tonight? I spend every day laying out my towel allowing the sun to slowly morph my usual peach complexion into an unrecognizably beautiful gold tone. When the heat becomes overbearing I need only walk the short distance to the water where the cold ways caress my legs with their refreshing chill. After cooling off a leisurely return to my towel and start the process over again until the sun begins to recede and the once pristinely blue sky becomes a mixture of warm oranges, pinks, and purples.
Every day trickles by like this and time ceases to mean much. This year when the impending doom of my return home finally caught up with me I began to reflect on what this vacation had meant to me. On the surface it was an opportunity to relax and refuel before starting my sophomore year at high school, but when I looked closer I saw it was a lesson. The beach mentality that I entered whilst in Ocean City taught me how gratifying enjoying the simple things in life really is. As I left the shore town crammed in my mother’s SUV with my family and more junk than any people should ever acquire, I made a commitment to myself to appreciate the little things in life. Because of me trip during the upcoming school year, and for the rest of my life, I am now committed to finding little bits of happiness in everything I do.
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