Sometimes, you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand back up taller than you ever were. This certainly was the case for me.

I was the stereotypical “nerd” in high school, with interests in things that others found strange or peculiar. I only fit in with the misfits and rejects. I was bullied, spit on, thrown into lockers, and verbally abused by my peers (no, this doesn’t just happen in movies). I felt alone, like I didn’t have a voice. The only thing that truly brought me comfort was my studies. From that moment, I realized that no matter what I chose to major in during college, that I wanted to teach and help students facing similar situations.

Fast forward to my freshman year of college. Things were going great! I made amazing friends, was no longer bullied, and found myself extremely happy as a psychology student. That was until I had both a colon cancer scare and had lived through a house fire all within a six month span. I lost everything I had owned the day of that fire. Again, the only comfort I had was my education. Despite being homeless with only the clothes on my back, I still pushed forward with my studies. I found myself becoming passionate about my field and wanting to pass that knowledge on to other people.

Four years after my house fire, I can honestly say that I still want to teach at a university level. Teachers have saved my life in the past (literally). Many do not know this, but because of their support during these challenging times, I am who I am now. I want to pass on my love for certain subjects and show others that they too can get through all struggles. That is why it is so important to show kindness to everyone you come across. You just never know when a word of encouragement will change a life.

I am currently on the path of either medical school with a specialty in neurology, or a PhD in neuroscience. Today, I am grateful for the struggles I have faced in my past. They’ve made me more empathetic towards all people and situations. I am genuinely the happiest I’ve been in years, and that is because I made it out stronger than ever.

To whoever is reading this, I hope this inspires you to view your problems in a positive light. Sometimes, the toughest situations we face will put us onto the path of the best things that will ever happen to us.

Stay positive! 😊