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High In the Sky--Common App: An environment where I'm perfectly content and what it means to me

Wowzy 1 / 4 3  
Oct 17, 2014   #1
Hi everyone! For this common app essay, I tried to write about airplanes and what it meant to fly in one. I'm worried I may have taken it too literally or that it's too broad or it's too narrative. Did I actually answer the prompt...? Constructive criticism is very much appreciated, thanks for your time!

Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

High in the sky, I watch as the world below becomes insignificant, the bottom of a vast ocean without limits. Looking out the frosty porthole, I leave life's problems on the ground. I marvel at a world where clouds replace mountains, the sun always shines, and the horizon bends. Of course, the blissful wonder only lasts a few hours and happens sparingly but the infrequency of airplane flights makes every aerial excursion that much more gratifying. There's no place I rather be than soaring through the sky in a pressurized bubble of peace.

There's something truly unique about taking an airplane flight that most travel weary passengers don't consciously acknowledge. Something about shooting through the air in long metal box fueled by liquid dinosaurs while miles high and traveling near Mach 1 puts me in a state of awe. It's strange to say I enjoy being crammed in economy class seated next to sweaty, disgruntled strangers while being serviced by mild mannered flight attendants. What people see as a hellish cargo trip I see as an escape from my earthly tethers, a chance to literally fly away from my problems.

The experience starts with the checking in. Seeing my luggage checked and my ticket printed, I feel as though I'm embarking on a grand journey, with my carry-on as my sole possession. As I cross the bridge into the plane, I know I've passed the point of no return. Nothing is quite as exhilarating as searching for my seat except, perhaps, when I find out I have the prized window seat with its magnificent views. Once I find my seat, it becomes a guessing game: who will sit next to me? A man? A woman? Maybe my soul mate? It's always a daring challenge to introduce myself to my fellow travelers, but the stories they tell make every flight a unique fairytale to remember.

The wonder begins as the plane turns onto the runway and picks up speed. If I'm in the window seat, I can watch the world turn into a blur and slowly tilt as the plane lifts off. My worries are blown away and I visualize breaking free of the chains that hold me to the earth.

With every ascending mile, I gain a new perspective of the world. Suddenly, all my teenage worries: homework, parents, and work are dwarfed compared to the vast land that spreads below. Only flying through the serene sky do I have the perspective to contemplate about issues greater than myself. I've always been a visual learner and seeing regions of entire countries from the air makes me realize the scale governments must face to manage so much territory, the incredible difficulty uniting a whole county of different ethnicities, the vast distances that divide us, and the importance of protecting nature's beauties. Every flight I've flown I have pondered without fail: if only everyone could see how beautiful Earth looks from an airplane, only then could they realize how precious our planet is.

The most important part of an airplane flight is not just the journey, but also the destination. The landing of the plane signals a new chapter in my great journey, whether it be the familiar skyline of the San Francisco to the cosmopolitan metropolis of Sydney to the tropical shores of Nadi, Fiji. As I step off the plane I breathe a lungful of the foreign air, knowing my enlightened flight has ended. But from all endings come new beginnings. The sky is limitless with opportunities and every flight takes me to a new opportunity, a chance to explore, to learn, to enrich myself.

Isn't it strange? An airplane flight costs a pretty penny, yet there's no place I rather be.

sa1na 9 / 72 19  
Oct 17, 2014   #2
The concept is good; however, I think you should change some parts so it would be clear which part of getting on a plane is exactly what excites you and makes you calm. Some parts, about checking in or destination, seem to distract the whole essay.
OP Wowzy 1 / 4 3  
Oct 19, 2014   #3
Do you recommend cutting out the destination paragraph? I'm worried I won't know what to write in the void that'll be left behind if I start deleting things.
Lucy2457 4 / 9 1  
Oct 19, 2014   #4
I really enjoyed reading this! Your word choice is very good. When you are talking about meeting strangers, I might take out "daring challenge" and replace it with something like "adventure". Also, your last sentence seems a little detached. Maybe say something along the lines of, "An airplane flight is an ordeal to some, but there is no place I would rather be." Good luck!

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