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Samantha finds inspiration at the beach

July 2012
Samantha finds inspiration at the beach

Samantha Varghese, a Georgia eighth-grader, entered Rand McNally’s America the Beautiful Essay Contest (for grades 7-12) and placed among the 100 semifinalists. Essays were about the most beautiful and inspiring place in America, and Samantha’s place was a beach: “Not only does it inspire me to strive for my dreams, but it helps me relax.”

She will receive a NOOK TabletTM and have her essay published in an eBook on NOOK.com. If she progresses in the competition, she receives a trip to Washington, D.C., and possibly a $10,000 College account.


Website Bonus Feature


America the Beautiful Essay Competition

Samantha's essay:

Samantha Varghese
Mrs. Alexander, Grade 8
Trickum Middle School
Panama City Beach!

The sand brushes against my toes in a soothing beat. When I arrive at Panama City Beach, it’s almost like the sand is whispering for me to just lie down and set my problems aside. Swoosh; swoosh the waves call to me. I move closer into the water as goose bumps arise on my arms, but pretty soon it feels like Heaven just landed on Earth. When I gaze at the water, anything is possible, like no matter what my goal is and no matter what people say, I can achieve it. My ambitions and dreams are endless.

The best part about the waves is that I know that as far as I look, they’ll still return to the shore. As hard as people try to bring me down, I’ll still keep on fighting for my goal. What’s my goal you ask? I want to be a singer. Call me crazy, but Panama City Beach inspired me to never give up. Yes, a beach made me realize I should always keep moving forward. It’s not easy being a kid and growing up with everyone knowing you want to win a Grammy. Whenever someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my automatic response was a singer. It’s like someone asking me my name; I just know it, and I don’t have to think about it for a millisecond. When singer came out of my mouth, their automatic response was, and I quote, ”Haha, are you kidding me? You can’t become a singer; that’s like a one in a million chance. Just as Panama City Beach used to be a small fishing village, look at it now! It is a huge vacation get away destination.

It sounds weird that my inspiration is a beach, because usually someone’s inspiration is a human being. To me, the beach is better. It listens to me whenever I’m feeling low. It makes me smile whenever I need some cheering up, and the nicest part for me is that the beach inspires me. I like to say that Panama City Beach is my beach. In a way it sort of is. Whenever I go, I feel like I’m the only person there.

Not only does it inspire me to strive for my dreams, but it helps me relax. There’s something soothing about digging your toes into the sand or feeling the sand slowly pour out of your hands. Who needs to spend hundreds on relaxation spas when you can just go to the beach?! Aside from the sand being relaxing, the water is also. I can dive down and wash away my problems. Even though some are doubters, I know I’ll become a singer one day. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, it may not even be ten years from now, but I’ll get there. I know if I ever need to remind myself of that, then Panama City Beach is just a short drive away on the coast of Florida.

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