PROMPT: Tell us about the neighborhood that you grew up in and how it helped shape you into the kind of person you are today.
I am in love. From the first time I respired her wafting aromas of cow manure, to hearing the grandeur sound of her local high school marching band, I was enamored. We have been together about sixteen years, and while she's had many lovers I like to think I am one of few who outwardly express my infatuation. How can I not; she has been with me through everything. My memorable years in adolescence, that awkward transition between child and teenager, cold winter nights spent reading by the fireplace, warm summer afternoons where I would long to stay outside; all were relished with her. Words are ill fit to express the level of esteem I hold her to and it is an understatement to say she has played a large part in shaping me through the years. Of course, when I say "she" I am referring to my first love and quaint hometown, Damascus, Maryland. Like any town there are certain divisions that separate us. Sometimes people don't see eye to eye and expectedly conflict will arise. But at the root of all this is a family-like bond that's shared throughout the community, and I feel that I know this better than anyone.
Damascus can be summed up in four words: farms, football, and Ford pick-ups. Though only minutes from the sprawling urban streets of Gaithersburg and roughly an hour's drive from the nation's capital, Damascus is about the farthest thing you can find from metropolitan in Maryland. "City folk" like to characterize our town as everything from uneducated hicks to incest rednecks. And while we do love our tractors, the latter is completely false. For those that never grew up in Damascus, it is hard to understand why such a town cannot be summed up so simply.
If there is one thing Damascus is good at, it is instilling a sense of pride in its community. There is a reason why we are revered as the most brutal place to play an away game at, and why the whole town is alive come homecoming week; the community itself is intertwined with one another. When someone has a baby, everyone knows about it; when the football team has a game that week, everyone knows about it; and when someone gets in an accident, everyone knows about it. On the face this can be perceived as nosy, and almost intrusive. But on a personal level it embeds a sense of cordiality, and willingness to be animate helping someone in need. Being part of this family imbues certain core values. You begin to model genuine compassion; comprehend accountability, and the need to embellish your community's reputation. You appreciate and exhibit benevolence, in hopes that same will be done upon you, and give respect when it is due. Together with my peers I flourished in my ambitions, and in turn helped them excel in theirs.
Entering Senior year, I am the secretary of my class SGA, lead trumpet in our jazz ensemble, and a youth leader in my Boy Scout troop. Much of my success I accredit to growing up in Damascus, and how can I not? Throughout the years I have developed traits that define who I am today, and earned a place in a community I am proud to be a part of. By no means am I done molding my character, and at the age of seventeen that is expected; but I know no matter who I am when I grow up, Damascus will have been a part of it every step of the way.The application is due Tuesday, so I would appreciate any and all critique if you see this before then! Thanks!!