Teen Spotlight - Joey A.
Hi! My name is Joseph (although most people just call me Joey). I’m currently a freshman studying Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I’m from Naperville Illinois, and went to Naperville Central HS. I like playing video games, playing trumpet, and procrastinating (I’m getting really good at that unfortunately). I guess my dream job is to be someone like Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson or Bill Nye, and help push forward the frontiers of science, as well as help show others just how cool the universe we live in really is. I plan on grad school, and (maybe) post-grad school for a degree in some form of Physics (that’s a lot of school!). I’d like to minor in Computer Science, and possibly Mathematics if I can fit it into my schedule, but we’ll see what happens as college progresses.
For me personally, It’s a pretty new experience being introduced to the adult world, while still not feeling any different than I did while in high-school. You don’t just become a responsible adult when you turn 18, or when you graduate high school. I’ve learned these first few months living all by myself hours away from my family that, Albinism or no, becoming independent is a learning process. And that great! Currently I’m living in a two-person dorm room, and me and my roommate get along well enough. I get all my school-work done on time, and do all the “chores” I need to do (laundry, personal hygiene, etc.) without my parents nagging me to do so (love you mom!). I have a solid friend group in my dorm who are in a lot of the same classes as me. I did band all through high school, and I’m proud to say I’m continuing to do so as a member of the Marching Illini down here at UIUC. That, along with some astronomy and physics clubs I’m in, as well as of course classes, keeps me pretty busy day-to-day.
Busy as I may be, I would recommend as my biggest piece of advice that no matter what you do, you should stay involved! Whether you play a sport, or an instrument, or really like staying involved socially/politically, or just have a something you really like to, there’s almost always a chance to continue doing whatever you like to do in college, or even outside of college. It’s my opinion that your best chance of success in this world is if you put yourself out there for others to see. That way, instead of staying cooped up in your room, you’ll get to meet new people, acquire new skills, and make connections that will last a lifetime, as well as have a lot of fun on the way. I think this is true whether you have black hair, or white, and you certainly should never let your Albinism get in the way of putting yourself out there. After all, you’ll never know what you’ll find until you do it.
On a final note, for those of you looking at colleges, I learned the hard way that you do actually need to study for your tests (oops). Also, for the parents, don’t be too afraid of the whole college process. It’s scary, but you are by no means the only people going through it. Take it from me; you’ll make it through to the other side. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some midterms to study for…