The Story of My Life, My Early Years and My Time at Temple University

Last Updated: 21 Apr 2023
Pages: 5 Views: 127

I was born five weeks prematurely by cesarian section to an Indian mother and an Irish/French father in a predominantly white suburb. If asked, my father would say I was small enough to fit in the palm of his hand, my mother would say that I came with a full head of hair, and my close friends would say I came out wearing a pair of boots. I am never without a pair of boots on. The house that they bought together is the home that I still reside in today.

My parents divorced after my third birthday, and my father moved to the town of Redhook in upstate New York. With visitation only twice a month, the lack of day to day contact and clashing personalities distanced me with my dad. At age seven my mother remarried to a fun loving, Jewish Dentist from Philadelphia. My stepdad, who belonged to a whole family of dentists, encouraged studying, valued intelligence, and supported all of my hobbies.

At age nine, my sister was born and we became a family. Growing up I was criticized by both children and adults for my skin color, my parent's divorce, my parent's interracial marriage; my sister only being a half sister, my not being a Christian, my stepdad being Jewish and my mother and her family being immigrants. However, I learned to embrace the things that made me different and laugh off the things that people said. The real bombshell was when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and we thought she was handed her death sentence. Those words could not simply be laughed off. Luckily, she remained calm, did her research and found excellent doctors. She is still in remission but not without her physical and emotional scars. I was inspired by the fact that she never gave up and continued life as usual at work and home during her treatment.

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At the age of nine the area was redistricted because a new elementary school was built. Children were taken from different zones and placed in the brand new school which had new books, equipment and most importantly, new young teachers. The teachers cared about what they were teaching and tried to bring the material to life for their students. They took an interest in the students, had energy and enjoyed what they were doing. This opened up the door for learning. It made me interested, made me want to know more.

Suddenly, reading a book was rewarding, grades became important, studying was not a chore. I began to experience success, it started with a geography bee, then reading competitions, book clubs, academic awards, honor societies, and advanced placement classes. Exceptional teachers would fan the flames and nurture what had been there the entire time.

At age 17, I was accepted early into the Temple University biology program for pre dentistry and moved into the university dorms. The first year there would prove to be my lowest point. My schooling, my parents and my teachers had not prepared me for the person I would have to live with in the Temple University dorms. The pairing of the two of us seemed like a modern version of The Odd Couple.

Instead of two like minded friends, I was an honor student living with a drug dealer in an 8' by 15' room. He owed various people in the building money and they would come knocking at all hours of the day and night looking for him. There had even been a police raid on our shared room. I was not able to live in my room, to sleep there, and to study there. Furthermore, I was not able to keep the grades that I was used to. This then led to a growing feeling of dread and brought me to the decision that I needed to make a change.

Due to the unlivable conditions facing me, I packed up and moved home to my parents. This offered stability, a safe place to sleep, and a quiet study area. I enrolled in the local community college and my grades improved immediately. Even after the move my grades in chemistry and math were not up to par with what I had come to expect from me, let alone my grandfather, my stepdad and my mother. My ability was not reaching the level of my interest in dentistry and I was left in a rut of mediocracy.

Years before I had been swept up in the fervor of working in the family dental practice alongside my stepdad, my grandfather, my grandmother and my aunt. I had had even worked in the family business and shadowed different procedures. Now my grades, and academic ability were not enough to make this dream become reality. I came to the stark realization that no matter how many hours I studied or how many tutors I saw, I would not become a dentist. It had nothing to do with living in Philadelphia. It wasn't my drug dealer roommate. It was not the situation. It was my ability.

Becoming a dentist would not happen. I was beating my brain against a wall and expecting a different outcome each time. The constant defeat needed to end and a change in major was due. A new path needed to be found and a new goal had to be put in place. I looked into the past, at my strengths, at my weaknesses, and at what I disliked in school and what I liked in school. Psychology was an interest that predating my being swept up into the family dental career and it turned out to be the answer. The new path was chosen and positive results came immediately.

After some time I enrolled in a psychology class and fell in love with the material. Was it a science? Was it an art? Why not both? After writing a twenty page paper on Schizophrenia and Syd Barret, discussing whether or not he had schizophrenia; from using LSD to cope with his troubles, or if he was a victim of acid flashbacks, I was hooked on psychology. From there I took as many classes as possible in Psychology and found great success academically.

Eventually, I was even invited to join honor societies. To further my newfound passion, I returned to Temple University because there were more classes, opportunities, and professors to learn from. At Temple University, I brought my Temple GPA from a 2.17 to a 3.46 with a 3.8 major GPA. There I was invited to join more honor societies. I also, joined psychology organizations, judged a research conference, worked as a research assistant and tutored psychology for student athletes.

The journey to reach this point in my life has been far from a fairy tale. It has been difficult but a happy end is in sight. Presently, my time at Temple University is coming to a close, my internship has ended, and graduation is forthcoming. My appetite has not been sated, and my curiosity has not subsided. I wish to keep working hard and discovering everything that the field of psychology has to offer. I want to know, I want to learn and I want to practice and explore.

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The Story of My Life, My Early Years and My Time at Temple University. (2023, Apr 21). Retrieved from

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