To The Person I Hope To Be by Alexis

Alexis's entry into Varsity Tutor's June 2020 scholarship contest

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To The Person I Hope To Be by Alexis - June 2020 Scholarship Essay

Dear eighteen teen-year-old self,
I decided to take this time to write to you, just as you're starting to take the first step into adulthood to thank you. Thank you for all you have done and accomplished that made us who we are today. I know that the idea of college and growing up is scary and that as of right now and I know you have a ton of questions about what you should do and who you should be, but trust your gut because it has gotten us where we are.
First of all, thank you for taking the Project Lead The Way engineering program throughout high school that allowed us to see all the different fields of engineering so we would have an idea of what we want to do. That decision in freshman year made our college life so much easier. That decision to stick with it after always being the only girl in class, always doing every project by yourself, and always having to prove yourself as one of the most important steps you could take to get where we are now. You'll be happy to know that you helped create opportunities for more young women who took that same path as you.
Thank you for choosing a college that was the perfect fit for us and allowed us to grow as a person and create opportunities that paved the road for our career. The decision to make sure you were comfortable and happy where you were made all the difference. Your attention to detail and work ethic in co-ops during college, while it was stressful and demanding, allowed us to find where we wanted to work and exactly what we wanted to do. Your ability to think outside the box, sympathy for others, and your drive to succeed also made it possible for us to design and create better prosthetics that are also accessible for more people. I'll let you know that while you are just starting to figure out what you want to do that you will help so many live better lives.
Your decision to participate in the engineers without borders was an amazing and life-changing experience. Your choice to help build a better world through engineering projects has changed your thinking and what is deemed as necessary. By traveling to the world's toughest places and changing their lives you also changed your own. Working hard and giving back at the same time has allowed you to find your true calling; helping people.
In high school, you struggled with hip and lower back pain for two years, and went through two major hip surgeries just to be able to sit and walk comfortably. Prosthetics were known to cause friction and skin breakdown making them painful to wear and difficult to walk with. Knowing what you went through and how those surgeries improve your quality of life you went on to design prosthetics that give others that same improvement. Prosthetics have now become comfortable and easy to use.
My advice for you now is to trust your gut and take the leap. Send in that application, ask those questions, and most importantly be you. Never apologize for being yourself because if you are “too much” for some people, those are not your people. Throughout high school, you were worried about not being enough or being too much but that heart and drive is your best quality. Every friendship, every relationship, and every interaction makes you who you are and got you where we are today.
-Thank You,
Forty-eight year old you