I Found My Niche at The University of California – Irvine
Student Name: Danielle Pool
Major: Social Ecology
“I did my first year of college at UCI and spent the summer abroad in London. At the time, I was not in a good place mentally & emotionally. My brother was terminally ill for years & my family had been battling a lot. I did very well academically in my time at UCI, but I wanted to run away…far away from my life, family, & problems. So I did.
I dropped out of UCI at 19 and became a flight attendant. I flew all around the world & gathered many experiences (both good & bad), all of which has shaped me into who I am today. I flew for 2 years but decided that the lifestyle wasn’t for me. Fast forward a few years, & my life came to a complete stop when my brother was killed in a hit & run accident.
His death took a heavy toll on me. I spent the year following his death in the hospital myself, battling a neurological phenomenon I did not expect to recover from. I truly believed that the only things that could come out of my life were tragedy, loss, & sorrow. It took A LOT of healing & re-adjustment to fix my mindset & push myself to get moving.
In my time at UCI, I’ve been involved in Cru and made friends from all over the world. I lived in on-campus dorms (middle earth) my freshman year and was involved in campus life. I studied abroad through UCI’s study abroad program and that is what gave me the itch for travel. I’m now in my junior year working from home studying social ecology and pursuing my master’s in psychology.
Reflecting back, dropping out of UCI was my BIGGEST regret. I beat myself up & shamed myself for years after making that decision. I never thought I would get a second chance to do things right. I never thought I could get myself into a place where growth & abundance occur. This is a new phase in my life & it’s my redemption chapter. I’m so so excited & thankful to be an Anteater again. ZOT ZOT 💛 “ – @daniellepool
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