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COLLEGE WEEK: Bound for Pitt with Tourette Syndrome

Hey everyone, it’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been very busy working this summer and also prepping for college.  I leave in less than two weeks, and I’ll be attending the University of Pittsburgh. I’m extremely excited to start a new chapter of my life, but at the same time, very anxious about the various challenges and new obstacles that I will have to face.

I am taking the pre-med track, so I already know that my schedule will be one of the most difficult ones I’ve ever had to deal with.  But I know that with a lot of focus and hard work, I can definitely take on the workload.

Right now, I am not planning on taking any medications (I haven’t in about 2 years), but if I find myself struggling and have little ability to focus, I know that I may have to resort to it.  (After all, I am pre-med and have to appreciate the power of medicine.)

I plan on using the various resources available to all of the students, such as free tutoring for every class and extra help with the professors.  Even if I understand the class topics well, I believe that it is still important to get help so that I can make sure that I have a true deep understanding of the material.

This is especially important for pre-med students. I have heard from students who are currently at Pitt that extra help has been one of the most important factors to their success; I’m sure that it will be for me as well.

As of right now, the only people at Pitt that know I have Tourette Syndrome are those in the admissions committee.  (And if you go to Pitt and you are reading this, I must congratulate you, because you know something that nobody in our entire school knows!)

Although I have definitely learned to control my tics since middle school, when they were strongest, I will certainly have to educate my roommate and closest friends about my TS, because they are the ones that will be around me the most.

If they truly are my close friends, I’m sure that they will be completely understanding of my situation and willing to learn about and accept my differences. It’s really important to surround yourself with people that you can trust will have your back because you never know when you’ll need their support.

So what am I most excited for?  Probably the football games.  Although Pitt is more well known for their basketball team, I am a huge football fan (Giants, of course) and have a huge appreciation for the sport.  The Pitt football team plays in Heinz Field, and for those of you who don’t know, that’s where the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers play.

Unfortunately the Giants won’t be coming to Pittsburgh this year — the Steelers will travel to the Giants for their game — but I’ll be sure to wear my blue all weekend in support of my team!

Another thing I’m excited for is the city life.  I was born in New York and always have considered myself more of a city person.  It’s going to be tons of fun to meet all kinds of new people and have new experiences and opportunities that I’ve never had before.

I can’t really say that I’m actually dreading anything about college.  I guess if I had to pick something, it would be the huge amount of work that I’ll have to do to prepare myself for the MCATs (Medical College Admission Test), which is one of the most arduous exams a person will ever have to take in their life (I hope, at least).

I’m sure that I’ll find help to get through all the studying and figure out a way to deal with my TS during the entire process.  Anyways, I’ll be sure to write again as soon as I’m settled in at college and let you all know how it’s all going. See ya for now!

HarryK

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