Unflappable Calm

USD Soccer Player Cory Norris '11 BAcc/MTax


“I’ve heard it said that, in every one of our lives, there are a handful of defining moments that make us who we are. Even though I’m only 24 years old, I feel like I’ve had my share of those already.

More than my share, come to think of it.

Like the time just after I graduated from high school and realized that I had no interest in going to college. I went through the motions and tried to make it work at a university near my hometown in Scottsdale, Ariz., but all I really wanted to be was a mechanic.

My parents were really supportive, and I quickly realized that I needed more than just a high school diploma to get to where I wanted to go in life. I also wanted to be the first member of my family to graduate from college, and those aspirations are what eventually led me to USD, where I’m about to graduate with both a bachelor’s in accounting and a master’s in taxation.

Then there was the time that I knocked on the office door of Men’s Soccer Coach Seamus McFadden, heart pounding in my chest, and told him that I wanted a shot at starting on the team that fall. Not just making the team; starting on the team.

He looked at me like I was crazy, and, well, maybe I was … but you never know unless you try, right? Practices were really tough, and the competition was intense, but I never lost sight of my goal, and eventually not only earned a starting spot on defense, but also received WCC All-Academic honors my senior season in 2010.

I was on top of the world, but all it took was a plane flight from Amsterdam to Barcelona during a study abroad trip to bring me quickly back to earth

When we landed, I woke up and realized that the right side of my body from my chest down was completely numb. I tried to shake it off, but it wasn’t going away.

When I returned to the States, I went through a battery of tests and received a variety of diagnoses. It was eventually determined that I had Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Needless to say, the news was devastating. But I’m a numbers guy, and, after a lot of soul-searching and even more research, I realized I had a fighting chance at keeping the disease in check, and still living as normal a life as possible.

One of my main goals during my time at the University of San Diego has been to put myself in a position to get the most out of my academic experience, and while it hasn’t been easy to deal with the effects of my condition and still stay on task in the classroom, my professors have been super supportive. Not only did I stay on track to earn my diploma; I’ve also got a job lined up with PricewaterhouseCoopers, who also have been really great to me in the days and weeks since I was diagnosed with MS.

Yep, life can throw some real curveballs at you, but the past is the past, and I’m really psyched about moving forward and experiencing my share of amazing moments after I leave USD.

More than my share, come to think of it.”

— Cory Norris ’11, BAcc/MTax

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