I encountered an astonishing, creative and unique botanical garden called Phipps Conservatory. Phipps Conservatory is a breathtaking and extensive indoor and outdoor garden located in my hometown of Pittsburgh. While growing up in Pittsburgh, I used to meet my grandparents and other relatives at Phipps and, therefore, I have always associated the garden with pure bliss and the best parts of my childhood. Unfortunately as I grew older and the COVID-19 pandemic surged, I had not been to Phipps in what felt as long as an eternity. However recently, my family and I scheduled a time for all of us to meet back at the beautiful Phipps Conservatory. Instantly as we walked into the garden, memories of sprinting through the magnificent paths with my brother and running through fountains as my grandmother yelled at us to be careful rushed to my head. As memories played in my head, a smile came to my face as I realized how happy merely being with the people I love in a beautiful place made me.
Since this specific experience, I have realized that my gap year is even more important and complex than I previously believed. I have been able to figure out that my gap year experience allows me to decipher my interests. Furthermore, the gap year experience gives me the knowledge to know what will matter to me not only during the rest of my academic career at Florida State University but also throughout the rest of my life. I personally believe that the ability to know what makes myself feel content and accomplished is extremely useful in both my personal and academic life. Being in the outstanding botanical gardens brought me joy and reinforced the notion that taking a breath of fresh air or enjoying the time I have is not a bad thing and can be extremely beneficial. Ultimately, the artistic work of Phipps botanical gardens furthered my understanding of what is important in life and helped me make sense of my gap year experience.