Student Essay Contest Winner: High School Category

Residents surely know how wonderful it is to live in River Hill, but it is not always something the teenage set readily expresses and finds “cool” enough to talk about. Here is an interesting perspective as described by the final winner of the Association sponsored Student Essay Contest, Ashley Chen. Congratulations to Ashley on her insightful essay!
My Favorite Thing About River Hill
By Ashley Chen, 10th grade
One of my favorite things about River Hill is the architecture. I originally grew up in Ellicott City until kindergarten when my family moved and then I spent the rest of my childhood in New England. Up in New England, the buildings have a history to them. Buildings are usually at least two hundred years old and many areas around town were built around sights of local history that everyone learns about during 3rd grade. We lived where history happened. While it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, I would fantasize more modern styles made with glass and metal instead of brick and stone; a symbol of the future that could be, rather than the past that was. When I moved back to Maryland, to River Hill, just a little ways over from my old town, I remember being surprised at the amount of growth the area could have in the span of eight years and also seeing how the growth made the area more modern with a completely different tone than I had remembered.
One of the main areas that stood out to me the most while living in River Hill is, of course, the Village Center. It’s of walking distance from my house and school so I end up spending more time in that area with friends and family than I had expected. It’s a gathering place; a place for the community, for friendship and for progress. I liked how the Village Center seemed like a normal bustling shopping center, but it still has calmer, more tranquil areas like the pond or the area between the line of shops. There is a balance here; a mixture of the past and the promise of the future as each day the skyline is changed by construction. In contrast, there is an opportunity to explore nature as well with the trails, which help to provide a quieter atmosphere when outdoors while also serving as a way to meet new people.
The overall atmosphere of River Hill is impacted by its well-designed communities. River Hill’s architecture, its neighborhoods and the friendly members of its community can provide multiple different activities for any local or visitor to keep themselves occupied. You can spend a day at the gym to exercise or even go to the multiple eateries to hang out with friends. River Hill provides a welcoming community while still being unique and constantly working to improve itself for the better. There is even the promise and development in Clarksville Commons; at the time still in the process of being built but already providing the stepping stones for new places for the public to explore and visit. I am happy to call River Hill my home as the innovation and technology used in the River Hill community is moving us forward into the future.
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