People will often say that summer vacation is a waste of time or that it is only giving children a way to forget what they learned in school. But I know better, ever since I was 1 year old I have been enjoying summer at a beach house on Long Beach Island (LBI), New Jersey. LBI has not only been a summer home to me but also a place that keeps my sanity after a year of school. It is consistent in my life and I can always count on it to be the same every year, same people, same house, same peace of mind.
There is nothing quite the same as getting up early in the morning and smelling the salt air as I take an unhurried walk to feel the sand shift under my heels. The sounds of the waves crashing and the seagulls calling to one another, brings my mind to another realm where nothing can bother it.
It was not until I graduated from middle school that I realized how much the beach meant to me. It was that summer that my family nearly did not go to the shore, because of the work being done on our house. It made me think a lot about how different my life would be if the beach were not a constant for me. I would have had to spend all summer at home with the same people I spend all year with, instead of interacting with my cousins. I would have spent more time inside watching TV and being bored, instead of playing in the waves and on the sand.
I can truthfully say that I have learned more on LBI than in all my years of schooling. Being around my grandparents and cousins everyday has taught me the values of family, something every kid should learn. The time spent on the beach has taught me to relax, through the warmth of the sand and the sounds of the ocean. The freedom that I, as a kid am granted on LBI has taught me responsibility and how to deal with the consequences of my own actions.
I believe that every kid deserves a place such as my LBI. Somewhere they can escape to for a while and it will always be there and always be the same. Not only does it put an uneasy mind at rest but it connects you with the people around you. Spending a summer away from you normal life creates new inspiration to succeed in the following year so that you can return next summer.
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