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What the beach means to me

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Cherubs have fun in the water and watch a chicken fight. Photo by Ashley Dong

The fresh air, cool breeze and crashing waves of Lake Michigan feel familiar and peaceful. No matter where I am, I picture the beach, and it brings me home to Miami. 

When I arrived in Evanston, I knew the beach by Fisk Hall would become my new happy place. I make a point to see the water and sit on the sand at least once a day, just like I would do every day after school. My friends and I bonded over volleyball and the freezing water. We’d grab each other’s hands and jump into the crystal-clear lake after a long game of passing the ball over the net. Pins and needles would attack our ankles, but the squeals of happiness made it worth it. 

On the first weekend, we all watched the sunset on a lifeguard chair after a short lecture. Free time at night was rare, so we knew we needed to make it memorable. The large, daunting chair painted in white towered above everyone. My friend beside me yelled, “I will beat you to the top.”

The mad dash up the ladder was daring, but the view from the top painted a picture of overwhelming happiness that would stay for the next three weeks. I had to let go of my fear of heights and trust my friends around me. As the sky turned burnt orange and carnation pink, we held each other. The sky went dark, but our smiles were eternal. 


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