There are No Rules

"Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution."


The line between water and sky is two shades of black. Silence hides between the crevices of elements, and I convince myself that I can weigh the air.

I cannot see my body or my paddle or my kayak, but I am kayaking.

The trees’ shadows reflect on the lake like black pawns in a game of chess. Sky, water, darkness: a massive snow globe (give or take the snow). It is eleven p.m. in Commerce, Michigan, and it feels like Sugden Lake is the whole world.

Night kayaking falls under the category of leisure sport. There are no regulations. If I kayaked to the very end, I would not know where to go.

For the first time in my life, I do not have a drawn-out plan. I do not have ambition to reach my destination because I do not have a destination. Realizing that I am a normal teenager with normal teenage fears is not reassuring. I am afraid of being lost (how terrifically mundane). I have always known what I wanted; I am the girl whose greatest cognitive dissonance results from liking books on both poetry and string theory. I like psychedelic rock and greenhouses, Autism research and vintage shops, neurotransmitters and trees. I like the way words taste - like Indian spices, or air. I speak Spanish with my mom, German with my dad, and English...

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