Higher and/or continuing education are amazing tools that we are lucky to have access to. Having a desire to learn, grow and develop what you already know and what you do not know can be a key factor in what sets you apart from everyone else. Does that mean you have to put your blinders on and head down the pre-planned track of: graduate high school, go to a well known state college, graduate college in exactly four years with the degree you decided upon freshman year, get married, have kids, move to a house with a white picket fence and go to work every day? No WAY! You educational and career future can look however you want it to!
I was the straight A, head in a book, study, study, study girl who spent more time at home stressing over a test than I did going out with friends or doing various other activities. College came around and I selected a well-known, distinguished school and went about freshman year much like I did high school. That is, until Spring of 2013 rolled around and I caught wind of a new opportunity: the Disney College Program!
August of 2013 I packed my four suitcases and hopped on a plane to Orlando, Florida having no clue what was about to happen. What was I doing? How would I survive with my food allergies?! Questions swam around in my mind, but excitement prevailed and I jumped for it; praying that I would be able to find something to hold on to!
Simply put, the Disney College Program changed my life. It taught me that there are different ways of doing things from what you believed was the "right and only way". It also taught me that it is important to value yourself and your passions so that others recognize your significant skills and qualities. It was one of the toughest experiences in my life, don't get me wrong, but hands down one of the most transforming periods of growth in my life thus far I could have imagined.
During this time, I applied for the University of Texas at Austin as a nutrition major, but after a few hiccups towards the end of the semester, I decided that it was time for another change. I completed my ACE personal training certification at the beginning of this summer and have plans to pursue a holistic nutrition degree next. I crave knowledge about what I am passionate about and am happiest, healthiest and the most excited when intentionally growing and developing what I already know. I have set myself up to have the flexibility to chase these opportunities and have let go of the iron grip I had on the plans I thought I had to have for my life. Because in the end, it is about what makes you your best YOU and not what other pressures dictate for your life. What makes YOU your happiest, healthiest and excited?
A born-and-raised Texas gal, University of Texas student Audrey Wright had to learn on her own how to navigate the daunting world of school, social outings and life as a teen with Celiac Disease. She loves her family and friends, writing, cooking and staying active. Now more than ever, she wishes to share her discoveries, tips and tricks about practical food allergy survival and hopes to make things just a little bit easier for others.
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