By Udaya Gadiparthi, a student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Warrior 196 Scholarship recipient
Hello! My name is Udaya Gadiparthi and I’m a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, Madison studying Biochemistry and Data Science. I went to Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minnesota. I received the Warrior 196 Scholarship last May, which was such an honor for me!
Something that was challenging about school was being able to organize and effectively plan to handle schoolwork, activities, as well as time with family and friends. It took some time to work out how to do so, as well as determination to stick to the plan, which can be difficult as you start to feel overwhelmed and stressed. However, being able to work on this challenge during high school helped me become a much better student in college, where we have more difficult classes and less structure compared to high school. Being able to create the structure for yourself in how you choose to allocate your time can be beneficial in the long run.
On the other hand, something that I really enjoyed about high school was being able to learn a wide breadth of different subjects. I think it is a great time to understand what you’re interested in because you’re exposed to a little bit of everything, between your core and elective classes. Additionally, the activities that you do, through clubs and sports, feed into developing your passion. Taking different science classes, such as Anatomy and Physiology, helped me understand my passion for medicine and research related to the human body. For example, this class helped me develop an interest in how cellular signaling pathways play such a big role in the functions of the human body, and led me to pursue biochemistry in college. Being involved in clubs, such as Science Olympiad, also helped me discover fields such as epidemiology and pathology. Being on the Debate team helped me develop research and public speaking skills to take on leadership positions at high school and at college.
Speaking of leadership positions, I’m currently the Communications Advisor for the Students for Rare group at UW Madison, who advocate for education efforts and government legislation for people with rare diseases and their loved ones. It’s important for me, as part of this group, to communicate with speakers and other members of the group. I am also involved with fundraisers and meetings with people who come from all backgrounds, and offer different perspectives about rare diseases, from caregivers to researchers. Developing those leadership skills from an early stage, including high school, is essential to being involved in causes that matter to you. That can come from being involved in different clubs as well as connecting with your teachers and other students. Additionally, taking the initiative, whether it be for a project, a speech, or something you’re passionate about, can help you develop and refine your leadership skills.
A piece of advice I would give to students interested in applying to scholarships is to start the search early. Because there are so many opportunities, it is important to continuously keep looking around and apply for any scholarship that fits your needs and goals. It all adds up in the end and can drastically reduce the financial costs of attending college, allowing you to have more time to pursue your classes and activities. I wish you all the best!