Breathe Easy

Common App Essay: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

I took a breath and assured myself that everything would be all right. Looking up, I could see the sunlight breaking through the ripples, reaching me from the surface, breaking the sixty feet of water above my head. There was no sound, everything silent except for the occasional stream of bubbles sent through my respirator. Periodically I would catch a flash of color as a fish swam lazily on one side of me or the other. My relative comfort was a huge change from what I had felt in the past. I felt in control in an environment that was totally unknown. In a place where few humans actually choose to explore, I felt at peace, and for the first time in a long while, I knew that everything would be ok.

During my sophomore year, I learned of a week long SCUBA trip in the Cayman Islands. I couldn’t have been more excited when I signed up, however, as the months went on and I began to prepare for the looming trip the following summer, I had a sense of growing unease. Despite the fact that I should’ve been comfortable, I was left with an impending feeling of doom when I thought of diving. I knew this was something to be excited about, but there was a part of me that wanted to scream in panic and frustration at the idea of diving, yell...

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