When I was in kindergarten, my dad announced at the dinner table that we would be moving to Southeast Asia for a while. He said to look at it as an adventure. Needless to say, even though I didn’t know where Southeast Asia was, I was quite sure that I wouldn’t like it and thought there was no reason to leave our perfect house in our perfect neighborhood.
The next three years in Singapore exposed me to life on the other side of the globe. It taught me that people looked different, spoke different, and prayed different. The car’s had steering wheels on the right side of the car, and we drove on the left side of the road. When we parked the car at the nature park, monkeys would climb on the hood. I had never experienced Chinese New Year, and my first grade classmates had never experienced snow. I also learned what life was like outside of the States and how easily friends can be made over a short period of time. After three years, my family returned to Ada, Michigan. I learned that home was not a place, but a sense of belonging, and a space where family and friends are. I also learned that the world was open to see, and that there was a lot more out there for me to experience.
I began swimming in Singapore as it was summer year-round. I began age-group swimming when we returned to the US. It was then I began to enjoy the friendships I was making, and the competitions we had together. My parents viewed swimming as a way of instilling structure and discipline, which it was. But I also just had fun doing it.
YMCA club swimming led to high school swimming. Needless to say, I loved the atmosphere of the team. At the end of my freshman year, I made the State Team for the 200 Free Relay. As a sophomore, I earned State qualifying times in the 100 Fly, 100 back, and 200 Free, and finished Division 1, All-State.
Swimming has evolved into my passion. It has become an extension of my academic routine. Studying leads to success; swim practice leads to success. Swimming is competitive, against other talented teams. But the measurement of success is absolute; against the clock. Swimmers compete against every swimmer to have ever raced. I believe I have the drive and discipline to compete, both academically and athletically, at the college level.