As my eyes flashed open, I silently swore I would never enter the water after today. The brilliant, golden sunshine rained down, creating scintillating sparkles on the beautiful turquoise sea. I searched for a sign of safety while afloat on my deep indigo inner, my eyes found a sandy shore seemingly miles away. The seconds ticked by and the silky sea continued to drift me away from the beach. It seemed as though the sea was demanding a choice: stay on the safety of the float and continue to stray from the shore, or jump and attempt to make my way back. The soft waves warmly invited me in, cajoling me to proceed to land. I leapt. The seemingly friendly ocean readily turned treacherous as it engulfed me for a few moments before I resurfaced. With waves toppling over my head relentlessly, I plummeted to the ocean floor once again. I twirled among the torrents of the currents, utilizing my minimal swimming skills to get my head above the water.

Plunging towards the shore, one stroke at a time, I was able to reach my sandy sanctuary.

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For a few weeks following the event, I avoided the beach and any other body of. But then I began to think; what if I had not jumped off that float? What if I had went with the flow of the ocean, temporarily afloat but inevitable to float further out to sea and drown? I then realized that to flee my fear of the ocean would be the same effortless way out; the drift out to sea, and I refused to allow myself to do this. That leap saved my life, in more than one way.

By surfacing from my near drowning experience, I realized to truly live I have to fight against my fears through taking chances. When a challenge presents itself, I know that I will not let myself be drawn into the apparently easy way of handling it because more often than not, this way is the hardest to recover from out of all.

Refusing to allow myself to drown in my own fears, I returned to the beach. I felt anxious about how my encounter with the water would end; I edged towards it and stopped short of the foamy line. While inhaling the salty air, I strode two steps in. Ankle deep was far from good enough for me; I closed my eyes and waded out to my waist. The gentle breeze played with my hair and rolled over my skin. There was no fear, just excitement. “Never again,” I silently swore. “Never again would I let fear engulf my life, not when I have the willingness to leap and knowledge that I will always be able to resurface.”

And while the argument “you must look before you leap” holds water, I know you must also be willing to leap to get to where you want to go. For college, I am more than willing to take that leap of fate. I know that in college, I will have opportunities to jump into my classes, clubs, and new experiences which will only be meaningful when I work to become adept at each. I am excited to challenge myself so I can learn as much as I possibly can without letting anything hold me back, even if it is waves of work crashing down on me, because I know I’ll be able to resurface an even stronger, more learned person.

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