“ Judea, how would you describe yourself using five adjectives?” This question I've been constantly asked through this whole college process. The thing is, I don't know how to answer this question because I don't know who I am. Whenever I'm asked, I hesitate and just say what I think the inquisitors would like to hear. Growing up always being told to act like someone else I was never able to figure out what it meant to be Judea. I’ve never seen myself as an individual. I’ve always felt like a small unit in the family.
Despite being the oldest, I'm constantly compared to my other siblings. The eldest sibling is usually characterized as someone who’s supposed to be a role model for their youngest siblings, but for me I’ve always been told to be more like the younger ones. I wasn’t really known in my family for my academics. My brother has always been praised for his excellence in science and mathematics and my sister is praised for hers in English. While trying to stand out from the others I joined multiple sports teams. Throughout my years, I've played soccer, basketball, ran track and cross country. However these accomplishments didn't really matter in my family; academics is always top priority. (I now know that my 20 min 5k run, first try, wasn’t bad.)
As I entered HS I was able to separate myself from my siblings; I slowly defined who Judea is. High school has exposed me to the many career paths I can take, and is where I discovered my love for science and engineering. My freshman year I was invited to a seven day on-campus medical program called Envision. This was the first time I wasn’t dependent on my parents. During this program I learned how to draw blood, create tourniquets, the different places you can hear a person's heartbeat, and different closures for stitches. Throughout this program, I learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned through group activities that I work well with others, embrace different cultures, and that I’m not afraid to put my own ideas out there.