The ship started to back away from the pier on a rainy afternoon in August of 2009, and as the captain sounded the horn, I knew I was off on a great adventure. I could feel the swaying on deck as I walked to the Schooner Lounge to take a rest from the unsteadiness under my feet. I sat and listened intently to a stranger, who worked onboard this massive vessel, speaking about his life in the Philippines as he taught me the fine skill of origami. I sat for an hour trying to fold a small piece of paper into a white rose, which took him only five minutes to accomplish. My traveling experiences took me to different parts of the world with very vast backgrounds and cultures such as his. As I listened to him describe the hardships he endured growing up, I was glad to see that he overcame his difficulties. As I left the lounge I walked around the ship mesmerized by the many different cultures of people with many different talents. The passing days reminded me that soon I would be walking around a similar community when I go to college. I envisioned a college campus like a large cruise ship surrounded by the sea of a greater world. Taking my final walk around deck on the fourteenth day I knew my vacation was now over. The school year would soon end and college would soon begin. I was looking forward to starting my own journey into the college world with a melting pot of knowledge and ideas.
After returning home from my travels I visited a college the next day. I can understand why college is thought of as vibrant community. Nestled in the confines of the campus, I felt myself on that tall sleek ship once again. Strangers of different backgrounds walking around in their own little community and protected from the outside world gave me that same feeling of diversity. Sharing stories and experiences with students that day mirrored my time while at sea. I was reminded of the time spent with the people I met on the ship because both experiences were short but had an important connection. This common thread binds these two experiences together with an everlasting hold.
My goal for the future is to take the knowledge I learn, from the vibrant community of individuals, and put it to good use. I hope to graduate from college with a nursing degree, which will guide me into my future endeavors. With the knowledge and strength I gain in college, along with the knowledge I gained from my travels, I will one day make a difference in the lives of those who need help.
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