By 4th grade, I liked reading but hid my books so no one could see they were below grade level.

"I don’t think of myself as dyslexic. When I was younger, I had speech issues and noticed my twin sister was a better reader than I was. In 1st grade, I had a reading tutor. By 4th grade, I liked reading but hid my books so no one could see they were below grade level.

My Mom read Shakespeare aloud to us as kids and took us to the plays. Listening to Shakespeare is one of the most beautiful things ever. In middle school, I challenged myself to read all of the Shakespeare plays. It took me a long time to actually feel smart, so the fact that I could read Shakespeare…I think I was just being stubborn and wanted to prove I could do it. My favorite play is “The Tempest”. I fell in love with the feelings and characters.

I’m a Psychology and Theater double major in college now. Psychology is the calculated way of figuring out why and how people think and why they do things, and Theater is the creative way of figuring it out.

Lots of dyslexics do theater because it’s about the skills you bring to the table and collaboration, rather than vomiting out what you read in a book. It’s creative problem solving. This person needs to have a wardrobe change in 30 seconds, or the audience needs to understand this concept by the end of the scene, so how are we going to get there? In college, Theater is giving everyone the chance to learn each area of the production, rather than focusing on the end product. I’m hoping to direct next year and will continue to be involved in Community Theater, but I want to be a therapist for my job because I feel a calling for helping people.

If I could go back in time and talk to “little me” who was so frustrated, angry, and embarrassed, I would believe my reading specialist who said: take your time, it’s gonna happen, you just need to practice and not think about how everyone else is doing. I realize now that other people are a lot more worried about how well they are doing than noticing how well you are doing. Don’t compare yourself to others. I’m probably hypocritical, but I wish I had just been happy to finish a book, rather than immediately thinking I needed to catch up to everyone else by reading 3 more books."