As the summer progresses, move-in day becomes closer and closer and my anxiety level increases. This will be my first year of college and the first time I am away from home. It will feel unnatural to me and that is scary. Everything is new and different but, in a way, this could potentially be a blessing. I have the opportunity to grow into whoever I aspire to be. It has taken me a long time to feel this way, but I am slowly becoming more excited, rather than anxious, about going off to college in the fall.

That shift happened suddenly when I was not expecting it. Earlier today, I was driving to meet my friend for lunch. She graduated last year, and just finished up her freshman year of college. I was excited to hear her advice and as I drove along, I noticed there was a sunflower growing out of one of the cracks in the sidewalk along the small Cape Cod town that I call my home. My first thought was that it was really odd. Then I was curious as to how it got there. It was this tall, bright, beautiful sunflower growing out of a rigid, gray crack in the worn-down sidewalk. At this point, I was far past the beautiful plant, but I could not stop thinking about it. I figured a seed blew from the field of sunflowers down the road and landed in the crack of the sidewalk. It was then watered from the rain and slowly grew into a tall flower. People probably pass the sprout and do not give it a second thought, but I could not stop thinking about it.

That little seed was transported in the ocean breeze and away from a field of its own type. These seeds all had one home base and were then dispersed to all ends of the sunflower field, except for the one lonely sunflower in the sidewalk. This little seed had spent all of its life in one spot, with the same group, until the day it was blown away. This seed was then brought to the place where it would grow and thrive. At that time, there was no way of telling if the seed would actually take root and blossom. There was not much soil, as it was mainly sand in between the cracks in the Cape Cod sidewalk. This flower took root in its new home and made the most of what it was given. Although it lacked fertile soil, it used all of the nutrients provided and the water from the rain in order to blossom into a gorgeous plant. It would have been easier for the seed had it stayed in the garden and was watered daily, but it would have just been one in the crowd. The move to the sidewalk allowed it to stand out and flourish independently. The sunflower was bright and beautiful, even though it was growing in a tough spot.

I decided that I, too, would be like the sunflower in the sidewalk. I know these next four years will allow me to grow and become bold and successful. I am prepared to leave behind the place and people that have surrounded me for most of my life. I am leaving my comfort zone and entering a new environment. Even if this new place does not have the conventional nourishment that I may receive at home from my family, I will absorb everything and take advantage of all opportunities. As Henry David Thoreau once said, “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life." I am ready to take root in this next chapter of my life and I am excited to blossom into the best version of myself.