I Decided to Become a Military Officer.
Why? I felt like this was where I could make an impact in the lives of others AND be rewarded for being the “best”. I received a congressional nomination and was accepted to the US Naval Academy. However, two weeks later I was told my offer had to be rescinded to give to an athlete.
Wait. What?! How could this happen to me? I didn’t have time to dwell so I started making phone calls to other military officers. Two weeks after my high school commencement speech I was thrown into bootcamp and was preparing to become an Army officer thanks to a General from West Point.
Remember what I said in the beginning, if you’re the hardest worker you will rise to the top. That statement is true, but does it bring you joy once you’re there?
I graduated top of my class and was sent off to school to become an Intelligence Officer. Ironic huh? I was always told to apply my “intelligence” so I guess everything came around full circle.
Not only was I fully invested in becoming the “best” officer I could be, I was seeking every volunteer opportunity available.
In 2011, I received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from President Obama. It was my greatest accomplishment to that point.
Two years of sleepless nights, intense trainings, exams, Arabic, physical fitness, multiple time zones and more came and went in an instant. In the summer of 2012, I commissioned as the youngest Second Lieutenant in the US Army, and once again, at the top of my class.
Since I commissioned two years early I still did not have my college degree (I received a waiver to commission early. High achiever, huh?). I applied and was accepted to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to finish a degree in international relations and islamic studies.