A friend from the Class of 1997

My time in high school

Attended high school in the

Overall high school experience
8/10. It was a great experience- being so young and everything was so new- life was just beginning!

Grades in high school
Mostly A's.


Best subjects
Foreign Language, Math, Science, Visual Arts

Struggled with...
I struggled with history, mainly because I was interested in learning outside of the textbooks.

Favorite extracurricular
Arts / Crafts

Life since high school

Attended college / university at
University of California Santa Cruz

Majored in
Major- Psychology with a focus in cognitive science
Minor- Mathematics

Post-graduate education or training
TEFL certified (teaching English as a foreign language) 

Places lived in US

Places lived outside the US
Germany - current location

Current occupations / past occupations
Past occupation- Office Manager for a sports medicine clinic, Associate for a general practice clinic
Current- English language teacher in Germany

Industries I've worked in
- Educational Services
- Health Care and Social Assistance

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Yes and no. It helped with the basics and was very useful for certain aspects of the job. However, a lot of it was learning through experience. Education gave me the opportunity, but accumulating experience helped me excel.

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?

A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
...living a loving life and enjoying the journey. This is done by letting my goals and dreams inspire me, never being stagnant, being humble when I come across challenges, learning from these challenges, keeping my mind interested with knowledge and also having time to stop and enjoy it all!

My definition of success has changed over time. 
Experience, time, unforeseen and unpredictable events changes our perspectives and leads us onto new paths. Then, our definition of success changes and becomes less finite.

My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
My two greatest accomplishments were (see #5) beating cancer and having enough courage to get rid of all my possessions, quit my career and move to another country... Moving abroad taught me the most about myself. Aside from language differences, I never knew how culturally influenced I was. Things like titles and status have no purpose here. No one knew (nor cared) about Palo Alto, it made no difference what university I went to or what I did for my former career. What was important was what kind of person I was. It proved even more that the importance of being a good person holds more worth than any amount of wealth. Being away from my culture showed me how to be an open, tolerant and understanding person. I have learned how to accept both positive and negative criticism. I have learned just how small I am in this huge world... But on the other hand, I have learned kindness from others, acceptance and patience.

My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
My biggest mistake was to let myself become too involved in my work. I was a co-owner of a medical clinic and worked very hard to achieve this. I knew that it would take a lot of effort, but I never spoke up when I felt the workload getting to much. I feared that I wasn't doing a good job and that I would fail. So, I tried to trick myself into believing that it was ok and that it would soon fade. I never anticipated being "one of those people", meaning a workaholic. However, I spent so much time at work and held in so much stress that I started to lose sight of my happiness. I stopped taking time for myself and doing the things I love. I lost friends, never saw my family and it spiraled into a depression... Luckily, another life experience came along and I was able to change this. It took me years to pick up the pieces and regain my individuality. In the end, I learned to listen to myself and to accept that sometimes, there are limits! 

An unexpected event that changed my life and how it impacted me
After my first year at college, I was diagnosed with cancer. I spent an entire year going through treatments and along with that, thinking about what I would do if I beat this disease. There were endless days and nights where I thought about what kind of person I was- and what kind of person I wanted to be. I learned about compassion, patience, perseverance, determination, acceptance and most importantly, being ok with not knowing the future... I vowed to never live in regrets. I vowed to always be a true, honest and open person- to those in my life, to strangers and most importantly, to myself. Since then, I have worked hard on learning how to love the journey of this life, even in the most difficult times.

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