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Word Count: 1,159
I am going to tell you about a rather wonderful yet fleeting experience I had the summer before senior year From the outside looking in it could have been the experience of any 17-year-old That spring I had been accepted to the South Carolina Governors School for the Arts and Humanities a prestigious program and I was ecstatic All my hard work had finally paid off all the English classes poetry contests and writing workshops where I was the only one under 35 and then the only girl who didnt carve gnomes in her arm with a butter knife in her spare time while eating a box of doughnuts The best part though was that Id be spending five weeks away from home No parents and no smelly little brothers rolling all over my bed I awaited those weeks in joyful anticipation Sure Id be spending most of my summer writing and sleeping in some strange dorm room I was new to this concept since I had never been the summer-camp kind of kid but I had this gut feeling that it would be a very positive experience And it was Oh how it was It wasnt just the fact that I had my first taste of college life - you know sleeping in dorms doing my own laundry cleaning a toilet for the first time And it wasnt just the fact that I was surrounded by talented driven people who understood my feelings about wanting to leave South Carolina and return to New York They knew that if you want to do certain things you cant stay in your small town forever And it just felt so good to have people understand that It was so much more than that During those five weeks something happened to me I gained a whole new perspective on some issues in my life This may not have been apparent to others but I
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