Imagine yourself swimming through the deep open blue. Swaying with each movement as the currents rip against your skin. Your body is completely enveloped by the warmth of the water. You look around you to see the magnificent world that is the ocean around you. Below you, you will find a school of fish playing and following the leader around the prickly reefs. You turn your head to find a huntress scouting for her prey; life is exactly as it’s supposed to be. You take a big breath in and out of your girls and try to hold on to this moment forever because you know, many don’t make it to this point.

CRUNCH! You run into something very hard; you are dazed and confused, trying to figure out your surroundings. All of a sudden you feel the tightness around your throat; you panic and look around for help. You are being suffocated by a thin piece of plastic surrounding your throat. Each breath is getting harder and each second you feel the fear build up more and more until it consumes you. “what do I do now”. You swing your body around at a speed it has never moved before, wiggling your head in each direction, trying to reach your freedom once more. At last, right before you give your last burst of energy, the plastic falls off, and you are free. You take in one deep breath and shake your head out of its state of shock. You survived, you survived what so many people before you didn’t… being trapped in a world of plastic.

As humans we never take a second to think about how they must be feeling. We go along with our days using our plastic, throwing it away without minding which bin it’s going into. We go back to our jobs and our families and live a normal life while thousands of fish die everyday because of our choices. We never have to worry about the consequences of swimming in a certain direction; we never have to worry about not making it home to our families because of a material that we could so easily replace. We don’t think about it at all. And that is our biggest downfall.

If we just took one second of our day and switched to reusable products or recyclable packaging then we would never have to worry about killing an innocent being again. If we just took one second to think outside of ourselves and to look at the beautiful world we have been blessed with, we would not only save ourselves but all of the magical things that surround us in this world.

If I were to receive this scholarship, I would continue to follow my dream of becoming a geospatial software developer. This would help me afford my classes and continue my education. I would be able to continue focusing on working towards the path of making a safe ocean for humans and animals alike. Please don’t let me drown like those sea animals so that I can help them from drawing too.

Essay by: Rebecca Rogers
George Washington High School

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