This is the essay I submitted to the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS) for their 2013 Children’s Scholarship Award contest. I hope you enjoy it! And here is my profile on the NJCTS website.
My favorite quote, attributed to Frederick Douglass, is “Without struggle, there is no progress.” Life is a learning experience, and unless one overcomes some obstacles or endures some hardshiprs, he or she will never grow.
For instance, unless a student makes a mistake on a test, the student would never learn what he or she did wrong so he or she can improve the next time. Without mistakes, failures and adversity, we remain stagnant. Similarly, you can’t enjoy a rainbow without a rainstorm first. The good comes with the bad — but enduring makes the result worth it.
I was 10 years old when I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. Although severe and complex forms are intrusive and debilitating, mine is a mild case characterized by barely noticeable, yet involuntary rnotor tics. At the time, this meant nothing rnore to me than eating a spoonful of chocolate pudding with breakfast, since I couldn’t swallow the pill containing the medicine needed to suppress the tics.
However, associated with Tourette was my rainstorm: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD can be equally or even more impairing than my tics. Sometimes my rituals and habits get in the way. But as l’ve grown up and matured, l’ve realized that having these disorders is not a deficiency or a shortcoming, but is truly a gift.
I attribute my headstrong and ambitious attitude to them. They have molded me into a more diligent and patient person. My ceaseless determination, undying passion and intense effort and attention exhibited in all of my endeavors are direct results of my desire and obsession for success.
Because of my success, I am passionate about pursuing a career in neuroscience. My neurologist, who I see annually, has become my role model. She has helped me to deal with, understand and control my condition, which has ultimately been a positive experience.
l am eager to study neurosclence at Colgate University, which wlll lay the foundation for my career in which I will be able to help patients just like myself. This is the ultimate way to pay it forward and create a ripple effect of rainbows.