Beyond my design courses, being a part of the 

university honors program

has been crucial to expanding my learning experience. The honors program at UC
lends students specialty classes, self-designed experiences, and unique opportunities
to get involved on + off campus. The program centers around discovery, application,
transformation, and reflection. We are in the top 7% of the University of Cincinnati undergraduates.


2023 | 2024

Two years ago I was visiting Amsterdam with my cousin. We are the same age and always dreamed about doing a solo trip together. The city was vibrant. That trip was the main reason I decided to study abroad in the Netherlands. This fall I left for my six month stay in Delft. 

Before the Netherlands, I was living and working with a family in the west Texas desert. Then after the Netherlands was NYC. Needless to say this past year has been a lot of new surroundings and transit. These places taught me the most about how to deal with unmet expectations.

In the desert, I imagined it revolving around creating connections while it was more about my independence. In the Netherlands, I went in thinking I would find a group right away and the experience would solidify that I should move there in the future. In reality, it took a while to find a group and I had a really bad sickness that really affected my mental health. In NYC, there weren’t many expectations mostly because I wasn’t expecting it but I thought it would be scary. Turns out I loved my time there and it was more freeing rather than terrifying. These experiences have taught me to just live. Somehow things always have a way of working out even with all the messy, hard bits.  

The Netherlands brought me so many adventures including the biggest one of my life so far, going to Iceland. I find myself missing the desert life a lot which is something I never expected. And while NYC just finished, it makes me proud of myself. All things I didn’t expect.

They all brought me closer to things I want and how I define myself. Specifically the most surprising of all, working hands-on in Texas. It made me realize my love for the outdoors and how my creative brain can mix with materials. My last co-op is coming up. I am looking for an experience where I can continue my learnings I did in the desert. Working with real materials just amplifying it with my past brand experiences.

This was the year of new. Dedicated to curiosity and learning. This next year I graduate. My last year of this fast-pace life. I want to soak it all in. Learn as much as I can. Live, learn, and let go of any expectations.

2022 | 2023

For my year in review, I wanted to take you through a memorable moment I had halfway through the year.

It’s been one week. One week of being back in Cincinnati. One week of school. One week since my heart got broken. One week of intense anxiety attacks. I kept asking myself, how will I be able to stay afloat? Will I ever be able to catch my breath?

I stepped into my 6 p.m. hot yoga class begging for relief. Needing the noise of my life to silence for a moment. At the end of class, I closed my eyes, rested my palms on the floor, and completely sunk my body into the ground. Then I was there. The place my mind returns to over and over again.

The clouds are low. The waves are rising. Mountains line the background. I am afloat in the middle of it all with no view of the shore. Yet, I am calm. Allowing myself to ride the wave. Feeling the ebbs and flows. Letting the tide take me to wherever I need to be. The shore is now getting closer. I see a small hand waving at me. As I focus more, its me. I am the one on shore. It’s my purest, happiest self. She is waiting for me to be with her after I ride the wave.

A small tear fell down my cheek as I opened my eyes. I knew that I would get to her soon. I will be happy. I need to ride the wave and stay afloat. Then the tide of emotions will lead me to her.

This year taught me that in order to live life with the least resistance, float. My waves of emotions are not a weakness but a strength. I must feel the lowest lows to get to my highest highs because if I go against the tide, the wave will engulf me.

That week was hard. I feel that hard doesn’t even encapsulate the low that I felt. Then things got better. Not on a steady incline but I had good days.

As I step into a fresh summer, I remind myself that sometimes waves crash harder that others, sometimes I may feel lost at sea, but I always have the option to swim once I am done floating. So this year I am not only going to float but I am going to swim.

2021 | 2022

Being uncomfortable is necessary. For me, I believe the feeling of discomfort stems from expansion. In other words, we grow from going beyond what we have experienced.

This year, my first major uncomfortable moment occurred three days before moving over 4,000 miles from home to the city of Honolulu. Most may have thought it would have been the initial moments of being there but my most anxious moments were in those few nights prior to moving.

The power of the mind can create the most beautiful and the scariest scenarios. Tossing and turning in my bed on the brink of sleep exhaustion, I could not stop thinking of life’s worries. Creating lists in my head of things that needed to be done or what would happen in my absence.

However, when the moment came and I realized I had moved to a rock in the middle of the Pacific a sense of excitement had overpowered all the thoughts I was having prior. Part of this year was learning that the moments that will give us the most growth have the scariest moments before it even happens. Discomfort, at its peak, exists in the worry of what could happen.

While I talk forever about what living in Hawaii taught me, it is how my perspective switched in approaching new life chapters. Returning to Cincinnati, I thought would be easier than moving to Hawaii. Even though I was ready to be home, returning to the same place with relatively the same to dos left me with no excitement. In the midst of all my worries before Hawaii, excitement was the only thing to overpower the anxiety.

Nevertheless, this was just the moments before moving. Something I had created in my mind of what I could be worrying about when I return. Deciding to look at it differently shifted the reality. I could have moved there and done the same things, consumed myself with the same anxieties, but this was different. A new life chapter.

The person that came back from Hawaii was a new iteration of myself. I was presented with the choice of creating the same life or doing things in a new way. Even down to rearranging my room to create an environment that felt released of the past. While there are reminders of history all over Clifton, I choose which bits and pieces I want to base my life on right now.

Expanding life in our most comfortable surroundings is a challenge that I would argue is harder than experiencing all new aspects of life.

Being uncomfortable is necessary. While in the beginning, I thought the complete new reality I lived in Hawaii would be the most uncomfortable, it was the moments prior to the switch into new chapters. Choosing to enter new chapters of life continues our growth. The perception of these life chapters creates discomfort. I can confidently say these recent chapters of life have been not only been the most exciting but the most uncomfortable. An adjective that has a new positive context to it.

With a new co-op semester looming ahead. My new life chapter is still being formed. In the next couple of months, I am going to choose the opportunities that make me the most uncomfortable but choose to worry less about the what if. Instead, follow my intuition and let life lead the way.

2020 | 2021

When thinking about how I wanted to reflect on this school year, I observed how much change happened to me and what changed about me. This year was monumental for everyone because of the challenging circumstances the pandemic brought. However, this year was important for me for more than just that.

This school year I started in my new major, Industrial Design. For the first time in my life, I am confident that this is what I am meant to be doing. Switching majors has brought out aspects of me as a person I didn’t know were there. I am more confident in my own skin than ever before. I finally feel like I know who I am.

It also brought a lot of challenges. Adjusting to being in an apartment alone from just being at home every day for 6 months was very hard. This year I grew a lot mentally. I have learned more about how my anxiety works and what I can do to help it. There were times that were very hard to see the other side but being happy in school kept me through it. It became my motivation.

While human contact has been scarce, the pandemic helped me to weed out anyone in my life that negatively impacted me. It made my connections deeper because I cherished them more. Because this year was particularly hard mentally, I understood the significance of asking for help. My mental health has always been up and down but in the past, I just dealt with it in my own head.

Forming healthy habits such as sleeping more often and reaching out to friends or family if I feel alone are ways this year have taught me to grow. Now that I have these habits, I know that keeping them in the routine is how I will be able to continue my healthy self and grow. In the next upcoming year, I want to continue to better myself and learn more about who I am.

As the years go on, I am able to see why everything works out the way it does. I grow more confident in myself and my purpose. I hope this year I continue to grow and it challenges me. In the words of Joshua J. Marine “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

I aspire to have a meaningful life.