I’ve been flying for nearly 5 hours, during which time I’ve been in small planes that give less than a little reassurance about your safety. As the plane descends, I look out my small and scratched window to see it; the most breathtaking scenery I’ve ever seen. There are abundant green, tall trees and the beach is just a small head turn away. Getting off the plane at the Eureka/ Arcata Airport, I can smell the fresh sea air; a single breath is like a small intake of life. I’ve foregone the airplanes all in anticipation of seeing this town, Arcata, CA, and to visit Humboldt State University. Before this fateful trip, I was let down hard by my top choice college, which turned out to be small and not the right fit. My other viable option is in Colorado, the place from which I yearn to leave. My mom and I spend a few days looking around the city. It is small but full of nice people and even more beauty. There is a portion of the city full of hippie-like personas, which part I enjoyed. The other part of town has cute buildings, a nice park in the middle of it, and wonderful unique places like used book stores. When we browsed through it, I even found a book on becoming a vegetarian which I couldn’t find at home; it was exactly the type of book I’ve been looking for and which I utilized to make one of the biggest changes in my life. The beaches are like a scene from the heavens; somewhat rocky, surrounded by Redwoods, and full of marine life; I was even fortunate enough to get less than 10 feet away from a sea otter resting on a rock in the ocean. The day of the college visit rolls around; I am nervous that my last chance to get out of Colorado will fall through. We arrive at the college and I love it. That feeling everyone kept telling me about, the “this is it” sensation, surrounds me like a bear hug and all I can think is this is the best trip of my life; it has defined the next 4 years of my future in a more hopeful way than I dared to hope for. The campus is big, but not too big. The students are nice. The classes are commonly outside of the class; students and staff are even the first responders to beached marine life. As the tour comes to an end, I’ve just begun thinking about how great I will love living here. The relief and peace of knowing where I am going to college is more than I could have even known to ask for. I am ready to go to college and try a multitude of new activities and am extremely excited to live here. I’m counting down the days to the beginning of college.
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