The carnival of her life is an overwhelming joy



A colorful image of a carnival contrasted against the night sky, a depiction of the stress and excitement I currently feel in my life

Pockets of light illuminate every attraction, and the bright and glorious Ferris wheel stands out against the quickly darkening sky. There’s a brisk fall breeze causing her to pull her jean jacket closer around her body, and the air carries the scents of fried funnel cakes and the aftermath of recent rain. 

Her friends pull her in every direction while excitement courses through her. She too is vibrant with an everlasting smile and a twinkle of passion in her eyes. Somehow, she is tasked with riding everything before the carnival closes at midnight.

The perfect pitch game demands her attention first, challenging her to launch a ball into the center target. A bell of celebration chimes just like the 6:45 morning bell, signaling the start of her zero-hour choir class. With a traditional autumn cold that tortures her existence, she feared her pitch may either soar too high or fall flat, but she was thankful that the ball still made its mark. 

Next, the stage of performing musicians lures her in with their crescendoing melodies and overlapping rhythms. She convinces her friends to stay as marching band plays such a vital role in her life, providing her with a world of excitement every Friday night. As much as she wanted to envelop herself in the music, time was of the essence and didn’t allow her to linger. 

Very soon, the carnival will move away. The temporary rides will be torn down and moved elsewhere for someone else to enjoy, leaving only the memories behind.

The next ride, whether it’s named the Twister or the Scrambler, gives her the same sensation every time. Spinning and twirling around a variety of classes, there is never a dull moment as she pushes her way through tests and quizzes; she has a spinning headache and foolishly stumbles into the next attraction: the ultimate mirror maze. 

In addition to her friends tagging along, her desire to complete the mirror maze stemmed from her mere wish to claim a victory against it. However, just like AP Calculus, she is constantly confronted with her concerned complexion. The laws of derivatives and trigonometry paved a complicated path, but she was beaming with immense pride when she made it to the other side.

Throughout the day, she does her best to avoid the creepy clown mascot that walks around, waving college applications in her face and reminding her of the neglected college questions that have yet to be answered. The clown taunts her constantly, and she’s grateful for her peers who confidently steer her away, assuring her that everything will be alright. 

Grabbing a bite to eat, her tired feet have a chance to relax as she soaks in the animated atmosphere around her. Despite the insanity that travels with each carnival, she loves the time spent in it. There may be mud, overpriced food, and children begging for attention from their parents, yet she embraces the season all the same. 

After eating, the pirate ship invites her onboard, and she immediately takes the back row for the maximum swinging thrill. On this expedition, her improv teammates sit on the opposite end of the boat, so when it rocks back and forth, they make silly faces at her and scream their heads off. Doubling over in a fit of laughter, these new people in her life have gifted her with immense joy. She’ll disembark the ship on Oct. 1 when their show comes to an end, but for now, she’ll enjoy every second that she has left. 

Finally, the Ferris wheel materializes as the full-circle moment to end the day. It symbolizes the past, the present, and the promises of the future: homecoming, the last year in Odyssey of the Mind, and graduation. For her, the spinning isn’t tedious; it’s a cycle that she’s incredibly lucky to be a part of. 

Very soon, the carnival will move away. The temporary rides will be torn down and moved elsewhere for someone else to enjoy, leaving only the memories behind. It may be too much to conquer in a single day; it may be overwhelming with flashing lights in every direction, yet it may just be the best experience ever.