Sunday October 30, 2022, marked the 10th birthday I have celebrated in Key West, Florida as a 16 year old girl. Although I currently live in Key West, I lived in Heathsville, Virginia for the first five years of my life.
Over the years, I have had many opportunities and great experiences. Some at summer camps, some on school trips, and others in everyday life. When I was younger, I did many camps during summer vacation, such as a Melfisher camp, soccer camp, sailing camp, numerous art camps, and even a gymnastics camp. Melfisher camp, however, I did for as long as I could, so for about five years. In the camp, I learned about the treasurer hunter, Mel Fisher, and many other things about Key West and the Florida Keys. In all the camps, I met people that I still know and talk to as well. I also still remember the 4th grade overnight trip to SeaCamp and what we did there. I feel grateful I live in the Keys where it has sunny, beautiful weather and great sunsets. Living in one particular place for almost 9 years, you get to know people, a lot of people. Not necessarily hanging out every weekend or inviting them to Thanksgiving, but you know them, and they know you.
Throughout elementary, middle, and high school, I have only gone to two schools, Horace O’ Bryant for Elementary and Middle school, and Key West High School (KWHS), where I am currently in 10th grade. At both schools, I have met great people and have had great experiences and memories. Such as the fourth-grade SeaCamp trip, Civil War Days at Fort Zach, and the 2020 online school experience in seventh grade. It wasn’t as bad as other places, but of course, it wasn’t the ideal situation as I missed seeing my friends every day. However, Key West made it a lot better since the US-1 highway, which connects the Keys to the rest of Florida, was closed along with the airport, which made for a lot fewer tourists, aside from the wealthier people with vacation homes. Out of the two schools, I do like KWHS better because there are more classes and electives that are interesting and look good for college applications. This year, my favorite classes would probably be Digital Video Tech and Chemistry. Along with classes, there are also a lot more clubs. A few I am in and was in last year are Zonta club, Mock Trial, the Snapper, and Executive Board. Along with those clubs, I also joined a few more this year such as Student Council, Model UN, and Chess Club. I am a candidate for the National Honors Society, as well.
Coming from Virginia, where it was very hot and very humid, there was not a beach near my house either. However, being able to go to the beach or out on the boat in about 20 minutes is one thing I love about living down here. Whether you leave from the canal in your backyard or from a boatyard five minutes away, the ocean is accessible from anywhere in the Keys. Most of the time, it is the most peaceful place too. I love going out on the boat with my family on the weekend and going to the sandbar, Boca Grande, which is about 14 miles off Key West. Alternatively, if the winds are not too bad, we go to the Sand Key lighthouse to snorkel on the reef that is there as well. On occasion, when family is visiting from the Northern states, we will go fishing. Usually on the boat, however, I do not go with my family that often. However, I do like the fish that are caught, even though it is mainly different types of Snapper.
Overall, it is great to live down here in the Florida Keys. Despite what the news and magazines say, it is a great place for everyone and all ages. I will enjoy wherever I live and find the positives in life as well.