I chose my majors together because the combination will allow me to do the most good in the world. I love researching two-partner secretion in my biochemistry lab under doctors Daniel Grilley and Robert Weaver. In order to successfully apply for grants to fund research, one must become a strong writer so one’s sponsors know the big picture of one’s research and its applications. I have also always been in love with reading and writing. I feel that this combination of majors will let me communicate my aspirations to the best of my ability and conduct the future research that will help people suffering from chronic pain.
My path to education has been a unique one. I began my college education at age 16 and fought to keep afloat amid unfamiliar social and academic circumstances. The age difference between my peers and I made me isolated and scared to build friendships. I also felt torn because I had no clue how my peers and mentors would react to my bisexual, nonbinary identity. The next year, I joined six clubs and fell in love with my favorite one: women’s rugby. I was able to push myself physically, which helped with my anxiety and depression, and I also built friendships within the LGBTQIA+ community.
I suffered a traumatic head injury after two seasons and my GPA plummeted because of my pain, memory loss, and dependency upon my roommates for tasks as simple as taking a shower or getting out of the building during a fire alarm. Multiple doctors and academic advisors recommended that I take a year off from school to recover, but I am an individual dedicated to learning, and the prospect of abandoning what I love most was heart-wrenching. I decided to continue my education to the best of my ability despite my head injury and worsening depression and anxiety.
This upcoming school year I look forward to challenging myself academically and physically, although I will not continue to play rugby. Graduating with degrees in Biochemistry and English Rhetoric & Writing would not only be rewarding because I could help other people but also be a testament to how determined I am to succeed. Moreover, it would prove I am stronger than my trials and that I am ready to apply to medical school so I can help others in constant physical pain. My education would have come to a halt if not for the wonderful nurses, doctors, physical therapists, and neurologists that have helped me on my journey; I cannot wait to pass on their kindness.
We are proud to announce Libbie Miller is one of the current DiversityJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘heart’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.