Scholarship Essay by Sean From Columbine High School

April 16, 2019

This essay, by Sean from Columbine High School, is one of the top five finalists for our scholarship. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below this post!

Littleton: Entrapped by Home

Littleton: the epitome of suburbia. To some, this is considered boring, while to others, it is exactly what they are looking for when in search of a place to call home: City life sits on one end of town for the ambitious and prosperous, while the mountains beckon the overworked individual who wishes for an escape to rediscover and rejuvenate. This suburb of Denver is quite accessible, and has always had a reputation for its mellow and relaxed state. However, this is no longer the case. Littleton has far too quickly transformed into a bustling, unstable metropolis, promoting financial hardship due to absurd costs of living, which locks its denizens into a continuous loop of struggling to stay afloat.

While it is true that change is inevitable and that it should be embraced, like anything in life, it is only beneficial in modest amounts. This ever-increasing reality of Littleton’s growth spurt has adversely impacted the prosperity and freedoms of anyone who lives here, native or not. Within the past few years, Littleton’s population has, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, increased by roughly 15 percent, with a population density of 3760.87 people/mi², compared to 1.5 percent in 2013. When compared to its previous growth, this seemingly-exponential growth seems threatening to its citizens. However, this is the nature of humanity. We tend to have a logarithmic sense of change, rather than an additive; if gas prices raised two dollars and doubled, the reaction would be significantly more negative than if the cost of a new house were to increase by two dollars. However, at this rate, one can only dream of the cost of a house raising by such an insignificant amount. Despite personal recollections of family friends making hundreds of thousands of dollars profit on selling their home at the height of this population influx, it is shown that house prices have increased, according to real estate market trends, by 115 percent in the past five years, from a recorded median sale of $268,000 to $415,000. It is not, however, just housing that has significantly raised in price. While it is true that the price of goods has remained relatively constant, following common trends among the country as a whole, the same cannot be said about localized services. Internet service providers have oligopolized the market, leaving little room for competition and room to inflate prices to their own will, as internet access is becoming increasingly critical to a society that wishes to prosper and grow. This financial burden puts a weight on the community that strips them of opportunities to thrive: how can a family or individual succeed if they cannot break free from the financial chains of Littleton that now hold them down?

Socioeconomic success is like a plant. There is always a need for growth and inflation; that is how the plant successfully fulfils its purpose. Growth is not merely transactional, however, in the sense that it takes in order to give. In order for the plant to be able to grow, it needs water, but not too much, otherwise it will flood out the roots; the very connection to a common ground. In this sense, Littleton has been flooded. Far gone are the limits of reasonable growth and now comes the roots clinging on for dear life in fear of getting washed away. Rather than focusing their fire and passion to success, many residents of Littleton must resort to staying afloat. There are opportunities in other communities that Littleton does not have anymore, because the freedoms of the individual have been compromised due to an increased cost of living. Without these freedoms, there is no incentive to grow, change, or improve. Littleton soon will stagnate in a Catch-22 of minimum wage, low credit scores, and no savings, all while other, less-saturated communities can breathe easier and be flexible. There are no real opportunities for change in this situation; prices and population will not go down by themselves. There, truly, is only one way out, and that is to get out. However, we do not merely stick our heads in the sand and pack our bags. We fight back.

While it seems that there is only one escape, which is to physically leave Littleton, one cannot give up that easily. To move out of a home where many call home is to admit defeat. The system can, and will be beat, if that fire and passion becomes directed to the well-being of Littleton. When someone complains on an issue and makes their voice heard on an issue, feelings and personal accounts are merely relative to an individual. While there are always going to be the unhappy and discontent, and while society usually does not listen to these rather insignificant personal accounts, this all changes when it is not merely a small group of people. It is not a small percentage of families who see why Littleton is anything but an ideal place to live, and we, collectively, cannot let the roots become washed away. To wash away the roots would be the equivalent of depriving our children of any chance of growth, and that thought alone would frighten any parent or soon-to-be parent into making a rational attempt at fighting this population influx and low supply and high demand. Until then, Littleton will only serve as a stagnant pool of the remains of what once was a calm, serene, and slowly growing epitome of suburbia

Posted In: Office News

18 thoughts on “Scholarship Essay by Sean From Columbine High School

  1. Katrina Bonner says:

    I thought the extended metaphor about the plant being connected to humanity was very insightful and well spoken.

  2. Anna Carpenter says:

    As a citizen of Littleton and the suburbs of Littleton, I can vouch for just how real this piece of writing is. I don’t think anyone could have worded what we experience here better. A+!

  3. Dino Polizzi says:

    Honestly an amazing piece. Gives detailed facts along with drawing any reader in. Giving perspective that puts me in the shoes of himself. As someone who once lived there this piece especially brings me in as I can verify this all is true, and it’s an amazing to see a different perspective on this. Yet when said “…should be embraced, like anything in life…” Brought a somewhat new meaning to how he is accepting to people coming to a beautiful place such as this. But is also cautious as to not let the foundation and the building blocks of this town fall. Amazing piece!!!

  4. Stephanie Russell says:

    Sean Quinn is one of the hardest working kids I know, and the costs of Littleton are unstoppable. I agree with everything said in his essay and I believe our city needs change

  5. Todd Pease II says:

    Sean is my coworker at discount tire. Sean is not only extremely nice to me but also very intelligent and loves to talk about how the sicence is applied to almost everything.

  6. Steve Quinn says:

    Wow! Very well written and oh, so very true, unfortunately. This of course, is happening in some other areas of the country, and most definitely in other parts of Colorado, but Sean’s expanded and elucidated the feelings of many in Littleton, I’m sure. The pretty much willy-nilly, mass movement of people who read things like “top ten” lists on the internet and how that can upset the balance of what makes a nice place to live…nice. Kudos for such a well-written piece!

  7. katie tennant says:

    “i liked how relevant this essay is to anyone in the area and how it truly describes a complex issue at hand”

  8. Corwin says:

    Amazing work and it looks great!

  9. Shrek says:


  10. Jackie Testa says:

    Well done, Sean! Your use of metaphors really help the reader see your perspective of Littleton.

  11. Loai Ajour says:

    Great job!

  12. Len p. says:

    I am from Philippines and I love to read, when I read this essay it hit me right to my heart because I can relate to what this essay is all about, this is all true and happening even to where i live right now, this is a great opportunity to hopefully someone who have the power to make Littleton into a better way of living. great way of expressing thoughts because this is the truth.

  13. Logan Cadman says:

    Love it.

  14. Robbie Jacinto says:

    I have nothing but positives to say for this essay. It shows that Sean possesses high level writing skills, the metaphors used are just absolutely fantastic and gives enough room for evaluation of the situation while leaving space for someone’s interpretation. This also expresses his passion as well as understanding of topic at hand, giving it a genuine emotional feel when reading it, that radiates through the screen.

  15. Sam Kunugi says:

    Wow, expands the meaning of suburbia in a very smooth and professional way. Puts some insight on our everyday lives that we take for granted . Great piece!

  16. Scott Chase says:

    Nice essay kid!

  17. Summer Fredlund says:

    Well said! Having lived in Littleton a majority of my life, this essay conveyed my thoughts exactly. Good job, Sean!

  18. Ethan Simamora says:

    It’s a very thought provoking piece that perfectly describes a scenario marked not just to Littleton but many other suburban towns across both the United States and the rest of the world. The skillful employment of extended metaphors paired with real life examples convey deeper meaning for the reader, especially for those of us who Littleton home. His point is accurate and his words persuasive, and leaves room for personal interpretation while maintaining a connection to individuals who find the argument personally relatable. Very effectively written and well done!

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