Dive in

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As my steps sink into the sand, I feel the warm breeze coil around each lock of my hair. Waves crash the shoreline and fill my footprints. To others it was just another summer day, but to me it was a moment indelibly etched in my memory. A risky decision to enter strange waters had transformed my fear of the ocean into confidence.
The fierce currents forced me onto the ocean floor. As a little girl, I couldn’t overcome the pressure of the waters. Trapped beneath the waves and pancaked against the sea’s sandy carpet, I choked on the water that flooded my lungs. Just as I accepted my fate below the surface, I felt a hand reach out to rescue me. I emerged physically unscathed, but mentally traumatized.
I grew older, yet my fear of the ocean remained. The thought of seawater rising above my knee paralyzed me. Floating in a shallow pool was one thing; however, the ocean’s wild water was a completely different story. It was not worth the risk. The lack of protection against the harsh swells contributed to my psychological apprehension. That is, until the sun’s rays forced the mercury in the thermometer to ninety-nine degrees. Seeking refuge from the unbearable heat, I searched for a solution. It was time to release my trepidation and take a risk. It was time to conquer my fear.
Racing across the sand I dove head first into the water. Safely surfacing dissipated my apprehension. As time elapsed, I became oblivious to the currents subtle drift away from the coastline. Realizing my distance from the shallows, I attempted to stroke towards shore, but the tide’s force hindered any advancement. As the current slowly swept me away, panic quickly besieged me. My limbs weary and my lungs gasping for air, I started to lose hope and succumb to hopelessness, but I couldn’t let my fear get the best of me; the water would not win. Though my risk of facing the ocean was hazardous, I was determined to succeed. The adrenaline pumping through my veins paired with a doggedness to survive, I broke the current’s hold by swimming across the undertow and safely onto shore.
Aware of this beach’s powerful undercurrents, I disregarded the danger and leapt into perilous waters. A blind leap of faith requires the motivation to test one’s limitations. There is no doubt that this risk could have left me at the bottom of the ocean; however what is life but a series of gambles that we hope to survive. Drowning in the regret of what could have been is not an option. The undertow of reality can drown a person’s determination; however, self-assurance enables resilience. The only way to stay afloat is to continue treading water through all of life’s troubles. There is no holding back, there is only pushing forward.
The risky dive into college waters will be no different. It is a time to leave familiar waters and venture into an ocean of possibilities.





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