Most of my formative years have been spent in an extremely urban area. Growing up, my knowledge and teaching of the Earth and its potential beauty was limited to pictures in textbooks and on the Internet. Because of this, my experiences with nature, even to this day, feel so much more pronounced and powerful to me. One experience I have with nature that sticks out the most in my memory comes from my freshman year of high school. My high school has a program for its students that allows students the chance to go on trips to an extremely rural and secluded property in upstate New York (Poughkeepsie area, across the river from Marist College). Specifically, there is a program for incoming freshman that allows the class to mingle with one another and get a feel for what is to come for the next four years. I did go on the trip (and because of my experience on this trip, I went on any other one I could within my four years there and beyond!) and in retrospect did have a great time. But of course, as a freshman in an unfamiliar place with many new faces, I was extremely anxious. I remember as a group being instructed to go outside on that cold September night shortly after arriving and dropping our stuff off in our respective sleeping situations. We ended up going outside in the pitch black dark woods. Although at first I was scared (I am not a fan of the dark), the lack of light pollution almost comforted me. I remember looking up at the night sky, and I swear I could see every star that night in full clarity. Despite not knowing what lied ahead of me, both physically and in reference to my high school experience, in that moment, I felt safe. Being surrounded in the wilderness by nothing but my somber classmates, the night sky full of stars, and the trees/shrubbery gently rustling in the fall wind brought me a sense of serenity that truthfully cannot be replicated.