Well, I've been a student all my life, and I still tote around my bookbag everywhere (people look at me like I'm crazy, but it's the easiest way to carry all the stuff I need to!) so I guess I should start at the beginning of my scholarly pursuits:
Ever since I was young I wanted to do something with science. First I was going to be a doctor, then i considered becoming a research scientist and finding a way to cure peripheral neuropathies (of course, there was that one semester at Iowa where I wanted to be a concert pianist, but the students in the other practise rooms quickly made me rethink that idea). While my high school years were fun, hs got boring quickly--I left after my junior year and started university (UI) early. I then transferred to a small liberal arts college (WJC) and graduated ugrad in May 2010 with a degree in molecular biology, my second concentration of study being music.
So how in the world did I end up applying for the Peace Corps and running an abused women's shelter on the border? Good question.
Long story short, during the 10 weeks I spent backpacking around Europe (during holiday breaks my junior year abroad) I met a lot of amazing people from all walks of life--it was a grand adventure. But, it turned into something much more then a mere adventure. My eyes were opened to the injustices that exist and I started thinking about issues on a global scale. And I liked thinking about what could be changed and the steps needed to initiate and produce change. That's right. Starting my senior year of ugrad, I realized I should have been an international relations major. Of course, I finished up my degree, (I only had a year left), but I was still kinda lost as to what I'd study in grad school.
Which is where this gap year comes in. To be honest, this women's shelter internship kinda just fell into my lap and I went with it. I mean, I'm just waiting to be invited to the PC anyway--and I've learned so soooo much. As for the Peace Corps? Once I decided I was going to take a year off and looked at all the different options, the Peace Corps was the only one that really clicked. Not only would I satisfy my desire to learn about and integrate into different cultures, I'd be making an impact on an international scale. Plus, when I come back, there'll be so many doors opened for me just by being a RPCV. It's a win-win situation (something I'm still trying to convince my parents). They say experience is the best teacher--what better way to learn about policy changes that need to be made in third world countries than living with the people and in the areas that need change?
So, that's me in a (long) nut-shell--a music loving, one time scientist, with a passion for equality and love of travel. Currently running an abused women's shelter on the border and maybe, someday soon, I will be a Peace Corps invitee!