Senior, Integrative Physiology and Studio Arts
Colorado Springs, CO
Has your health improved as a student at CU-Boulder?
I am so happy that I chose to come to CU-Boulder. There is a very strong health and fitness culture. My peers are really influential—and in a good way. Walking through campus, I see a range of active people—whether they’re climbers, bikers or training for a triathlon. I’m really excited to be in training for my first triathlon. I am surrounded by encouraging behavior, and it just makes it that much easier to get out there and try new things.
I already had a good base when I came to CU-Boulder, but my time here has helped me solidify a lot of good habits. Now they are very consistent and are something that I anticipate I will keep up forever. I would say that living healthy lifestyle is part of my identity now.
How did you get connected with Community Health?
Coming to CU-Boulder, I was super Type A and wanted to jump into volunteering. I actually got lost seeking out another organization when I stumbled upon Community Health. I was very open to get involved in something health related. I initially didn’t know anything about public health, but I got involved. Since then, I see public health everywhere. Community Health covers a wide range of subject areas that is relevant to students – it is so much more than you would think.
What do you do with CU Community Health?
We focus on education and outreach, and we approach it from a harm reduction angle and everything is really data driven. I have learned how to present to my peers on lots of topics like nutrition, sleep, stress, body image and health inequities. When I give these presentations, I am not telling people how to live or what to do I just provide the information, so if and when they need it, they’ll know what to do.
Tell me about double majoring in studio arts and integrative physiology.
Art is a good balance for me. It is easy to get overwhelmed in the sciences, but art lets me explore my creative side and provides me with a different perspective. Plus, it’s a great stress regulator. I grew up with art as a hobby, but after some consideration, I decided to declare it my sophomore year. CU-Boulder has a great art program and I want to learn more about it. At times it is useful in physiology. I see a lot of overlap with my majors—figure drawing is all about movement and proportions, so knowing how the body works helps with that. I love physiology and learning about the body, it’s just a bonus that I can draw to help me study for both majors. I have been able to connect my passions in so many ways, and I’m grateful for that.
What do you want to do after graduation?
Since high school, I have wanted to go to medical school or physician assistant school – I really wanted a professional health care career. However, coming to CU-Boulder and being part of Community Health, I realized how limited my thinking was before. There are so many options I hadn’t even considered. I may still go to med school, and if I do, I will go knowing that I have assessed all my options.
When did you move from Germany and what was that like?
We moved to the U.S. from Germany my freshman year of high school. I had been there since I was about 5 years old so moving back here was very much a culture shock. It was kind of a rough transition, especially in high school, so I was determined to make my move to Boulder different. I wanted it to make this transition better and explore all of the options available here. I wanted to challenge myself to be more involved in connecting with people. I was part of the Social Entrepreneurship Residential Academic Program my freshman year at CU-Boulder, because I wanted to meet more people. I found that there are many students from diverse backgrounds that I could relate to.
Why did you choose to attend CU-Boulder?
CU-Boulder was originally my second option; I really wanted to go out-of-state. But, in-state tuition was really appealing and that was OK with me. I do love how beautiful it is here—it reminds me of Germany, where I grew up, so that helped with my transition. How can you not be happy here? It is such a welcoming and open community. There is a place for everyone.