With humility, I would say I’m what most would consider to be a “pretty smart kid”. I have almost a perfect GPA, I constantly make the President’s List, I’m a member of an academic honor society, so on and so forth. However, I wouldn’t say it has always been this way. As a kid, I struggled with school, especially in subjects like math and science. I always got by with decent grades, but I was never too far above average. I went to a private high school for my last 3 years of high school, and I thrived socially and athletically while still managing to get mostly B’s when it came to grades. I can recall, however, a couple of situations that made me feel like I would never be “smart”. At the end of sophomore year, our biology professors would recommend to our advisors what physics class we should be registered for. My teacher suggested I go into the “conceptual physics” course instead of regular or advanced physics. When I asked my advisor (who was a complete sweetheart and like a second mother to me) what “conceptual physics” even was, she told me “well, I’d say it’s like physics for poets”. She put it in a nice way, but I knew what she meant was that I had been put into the “dumb” class.
However, in a strange way I’m grateful to have experienced that gut-wrenching public humiliation. Until that point I had cruised through school managing to get mostly B’s, and trying hard enough, but not as much as I could have. That experience lit a fire under my ass; I got competitive, and I now wanted to prove myself. I went into college with a mission to grind as hard as I could to be at the top. I never wanted to feel stupid again. I pulled all nighters, drilled information into my head, whatever it took to get an A and feel like the smartest one in the class. While I was succeeding and getting straight A’s (as a science major, ironically), I was driving myself insane. Not eating, not sleeping, just working and studying all day and all night. It got to the point where it wasn’t good for my health. I lost too much weight, didn’t socialize or have friends, and was so obsessed with the idea of being smart that I forgot to take care of myself, and love myself. After almost a couple of years of this, I decided I needed to make a change.
I ended up switching majors, from Exercise Science to Interdisciplinary Studies. Not because I thought it would be easier, but because I realized I didn’t want to be a file cabinet of information. I wanted to help others be the best version of themselves. I wanted to help people lead better lives by being able to communicate with them like a normal person, without big fancy science terms. I loved my time in exercise science, but I wanted to put my knowledge at use for other people. I realize now that there is so much out there in the academic world that I have yet to explore. Besides physical health and exercise, I’m also wandering into subjects like spirituality, personal transformation, holistic healing, etc. As my knowledge and studies expand, I hope to be able to help others in many aspects of their lives.