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For me, nature has served as a safe haven.

As an individual born into a hostile family, the

natural environment taught me about life, love, and individualism. Richard Louv, author of Last

Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, wrote, unlike

television, nature does not steal time; it amplifies it. Nature offers healing for a child living in a

destructive family or neighborhood. There is a certain form of sociology that comes from

spending time outdoorsthe interactions with the land, the water, and the people that share a

common love for the earth. I enrolled as a sociology major at Longwood University to deepen

my comprehension of human interaction. Through this major, and my outdoor education minor,

I have assumed roles and responsibilities that I could not have imagined myself being in.

I have been the Treasurer, Vice President, and President of the Outdoor Club. With these

roles, my responsibilities entailed creating trip itineraries, communicating with various other

organization and businesses, leading expeditions, and most importantly, providing fellow

students with an enjoyable, learning experience outside. I am a leader when it comes to being

outdoors; I am a trained Wilderness First Responder, a river camp counselor, and a teaching

assistant of an outdoor recreation course. I am a leader when it comes to sociologyI dedicate

my time to tutoring my peers, advocating for individual rights, and ensuring the wellbeing of the

individuals around me.

In the future, I foresee my degree in sociology aiding me in any field that I may find

myself in. Ideally, I will be working outdoors with a range of participants from all demographic

categories and backgrounds; perhaps in the wilderness therapy field taking adolescents with

behavioral or emotional issues or adults with drug addictions on backpacking excursions to

improve their way of life. Studying sociology has opened my eyes to the wide array of life

experiences that individuals go through, which helps me understand why people behave in the
way they do. My minor in outdoor education has developed my leadership and teaching skills in

terms of instructing how to preform various outdoor tasks, such as tying knots, identifying

numerous animal and plant species, and effectively communicating with a diverse group.

Nature has had a profound impact on my life. I have learned how to communicate with

others; understand that there are, and will be, differences among people, places, and things; and

appreciate the small things that earth and human life has to offer. I am a leader today due to my

experiences, my schooling, and where I see myself in the future. I am at a constant state of

challenging myselfmy knowledge, my beliefs, my endurance, and my strength.