I was born and raised here in sunny San Diego, living in a 10 block radius in 3 different condos my whole life. For one year when I was age 3-4 my family lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico while my dad did research for his PHD in Neuroscience, though all I remember is cold weather so I don’t really count it. Having been raised in San Diego (La Jolla in particular), I had access to the world renowned Palomar Observatory, which fueled my passion for astronomy throughout middle and high school. With the plan to pursue astronomy as a profession, I went to Whitman College in Washington St., though quickly my fascination in the cosmos expanded to the more expansive questions of philosophy, both ancient and modern. This discovery, the weather, location of the school, and instability in relationships, combined with my dislike for math, led me to the conclusion that Whitman and astronomy were not the my path and I returned home. Now with no life plan, I spent several months doing some soul searching for what the next path might be, while working at AMC Theaters on the side to finance my wanderer lifestyle. I soon discovered my love for hiking and decided to undertake the Pacific Crest Trail, though despite my training and diligence I was not prepared for the water shortage and had to turn back very early. While this certainly was an emotionally painful and unexpected outcome, it brought forth desire to embrace suffering as an opportunity to transform oneself positively. I discovered for myself the benefits of daily meditation, which greatly increased my interest in religious studies, particularly Buddhism and Taoism. I am now a transfer student at USD with a double major in philosophy and theology/religious studies, and a minor in Asian studies, as well as an employee at Barnes & Noble.