Prompt: Write a personal essay about yourself, your interests, and your plans for the future. (<500 words)

"I Am a Story"
I am unique. I am driven and passionate. But so much more lies in me than simple words. I have so much potential. I want to be a story.

On September 18, 2006, I received an early Christmas gift that changed my life forever: a small, gorgeous, buckskin colored mare with a silky black mane and tail. Apart from the ponies at the state fair, I had never ridden a horse before, but from the moment I stepped into the stirrup it seemed as if I had an innate talent, a destiny, of sorts. I pin this memory as the beginning of my journey as an equestrian and the turning point to the discovery of myself.

Raised in central Mississippi suburbia, an ideal atmosphere, I experienced a flawless childhood. However, pressure began to mount as I progressed into my preteen years at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School, known as the most academically challenging college preparatory institute in the state of Mississippi. The added stress of the intense curriculum and my self-imposed drive for success left me socially withdrawn as I began spending an inordinate amount of time studying in order to keep exceptional grades. The once active softball and basketball player with a giggly personality diminished into an anxious overachiever. I was completely immersed in the smallest aspects of any potential educational triumphs. At thirteen, I found that something was missing. I needed some kind of “escape” or form of pleasure to balance the constant burden of schoolwork. Little did I know that I would find it so quickly; that an unconventional gift, a horse, would revitalize my entire outlook on life.

Before I began my journey as a rider I was convinced that Veterinary Science was the right profession for me. Throughout my high school career, I toggled with my plans for the future. I shadowed various veterinarians, volunteered with multiple rescue associations, as well as a therapeutic riding center, and worked with a well-respected AQHA Professional Horseman. My experience, working with such well respected horsemen and a variety of amazing animals, validated the certainty that horses must also have a place in my career. With the introduction to the rare programs that the University of Findlay offers, I plan to major in both Western Equestrian Studies and Equine Business Management. I also have an interest in pursuing a minor in Psychology in order to enter the field of Equine-Assisted Therapy, a field that offers unique opportunities to those with mental health issues through relationships with horses. The programs that Findlay offers and the diversity of their amazing opportunities present a direct path for me, a passionate equestrian, to accomplish all that I need and desire to achieve. The University of Findlay has the power to build my story.