Latest Movie :

My Big Adventure

I was talking to a friend of my little brother (or as he would say, "younger brother") who is beginning the application process for college next year. He asked me for some advice about how to write his Personal Application Essay.

He showed me the guidelines for the Essay and it got me to thinking about "adventures."

Here are two of the guidelines one college gave for the Essay:
  • Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
  • Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
There were a couple of others, but it was the first one that really caught my eye. Like I said, it got me to thinking about  "adventures" I've already had or "adventures" I want to have.

One of the biggest adventures I'm planning on having is hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. When I was thirteen, I got really interested in hiking, backpacking, and camping when my uncle and cousin included me on a three day, two-night "mini-adventure" through the small section of the Appalachian Trail that goes through Massachusetts.

To this day I still think about that mini-adventure. It felt like my uncle initiated us into a different world that had different rules. I remember being in awe of how unfamiliar and unpredictable that different world seemed.
You see, a lot of my early life was all about how to make my world familiar and predictable. Having ADHD meant I had people help me set up very predictable routines and schedules that would help me organize myself as well as organize my world.

Without those predictable routines and schedules, I have no doubt I would have failed miserably in school, had no friends, and might have ended up in serious trouble because of my impulsive behavior. The medication I took helped tremendously, but I still had to have help learning different behavioral strategies to manage things.

My little mini-adventure that long weekend when I was thirteen changed me in some profound ways. I wouldn't have been about to articulate this when I was thirteen. I probably said the weekend was "awesome" or "a lot of fun." But looking back now I can say with certainty that it changed me in some major ways.

My uncle talked to us about how to pay attention to all the different "rules" in this new world he had taken us to. Even though there was no chance we'd get lost, he spent time teaching us about the compass, how it worked, and how to use it in this new world we were in. It was almost like that compass was some magical instrument in a sci fi story. Something that our very survival depended on. If we lost that compass, we might be lost forever.

And even though there was a clearly marked and obvious trail to follow, for a thirteen-year-old boy who had only known a world that made sense if it looked a certain predictable way, this place could have been on another planet in another solar system in another galaxy. It was full of wonder and magic and danger and strange sounds (and lack of sounds).

One of the ways this mini-adventure changed me was discovering that I could actually slow myself down. I could slow my brain, my thoughts, my emotions, my fears, my excitement. Everything. I was so use to my brain being in control of everything, I had to learn how take control and make my brain follow my instructions.

I also learned that I had to sharpen my observation skills so I could actually figure out how things worked in this new world. There were certain plants you had to avoid because they had this power to give you a rash if you messed with them.
We also had to be aware of Black Bears, since we were in territory that included these beautiful but potentially dangerous animals. If we ran across one, there were certain ways you had to react. We were in their world. They had certain ways of doing things and you had to respect that.

Another lesson I learned was that I needed to be prepared to rely on myself. A big fear of mine then was I might get separated from them and would have to rely on myself to survive. I know now there was little chance of that happening, but at thirteen years old, all kinds of thoughts went through my head. I needed to be prepared for anything.

The major thing I discovered about myself that weekend was I wanted to learn about and explore as many of those different worlds as I could. It's been like a fire burning inside me ever since. Hence, my desire to hike this world called the Appalachian Trail.

I'm already in pretty good physical shape, but nothing like I need to be for this kind of adventure. So I'm working on a physical training schedule to become a seasoned hiker that will prepare me for a backpack containing up to 50 pounds of supplies and food, all day, every day. Not to mention all that's involved in getting my legs and cardiovascular system ready for a rugged hike.

And here's the kicker. I seriously want to do this hike alone. From the research I've done I know there will be hikers on the way. But I want to do a solo hike.

I'm really grateful for all the people along the way who have helped guide me through all the challenges of my ADHD. But now I need to have an adventure where it's just me. Maybe it's because I need to prove something to myself. Maybe it's because I need to learn more about myself. All I know right now is that I want this adventure. Or maybe "need" is the better word. This feels like an adventure I need to happen.

I'm sure I'll be writing more about this, so stay tuned.

So, what do you think? What Big Adventures have you been on? What Adventures do you want to have? What do they mean to you? What do they say about you? How would you answer that college Personal Application Essay I mentioned at the beginning?

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

Share this article :

Post a Comment

Support : Copyright © 2011. horney paper storms - All Rights Reserved
Proudly powered by Blogger