Name: Aleah Appling
Hometown: Puyallup, WA
Dorm: Cavanaugh Hall
Major: Environmental Science and Spanish Supplemental
Favorite Movie: Cold Mountain
Favorite 00’s Jam: “Ignition” by R.Kelly
Favorite Snack: chocolate chips
Zombies have invaded earth, who’d be on your fighting team?
Probs you because you would agree to hide with me and wait for the apocalypse to be over. (Author note: can confirm, I would be hiding)
Guilty pleasure: Watching Twilight so many times that I know the lines by heart.
If you could pick one gif that describes your life, what would it be?
You have kind of a unique story about how you first heard about Notre Dame. Who is responsible?
Haha this is going to make me sound like an idiot but I don’t care because I share this story on every tour I give. I heard about Notre Dame when I was in the 8th grade and started playing lacrosse. My dad turned on a men’s game, and it was Notre Dame v. Syracuse. I became a huge fan of the team and most importantly the best player to have ever graced this campus: Matt Kavanagh. The lacrosse team is how I got interested in the University, and one of the perks involved with me deciding to come here. I knew that I chose right when I met Matt Kavanagh at the Taco Bell/Pizza Hut in LaFun during freshman year finals. It was his senior year so it was fate that I got to meet him. Better yet? He’s not like other “lax bros” he’s actually really nice!
You and I met as pre-med majors, and that’s changed since then, what’s your new career goals?
So I changed my major to environmental science from science pre-professional basically this semester. Since then life has been substantially better because I am really passionate about what my major involves. Also, about a month ago I decided that I didn’t want to go to medical school, which has made my life a lot more enjoyable and exciting! Currently, I am contemplating environmental law after undergrad, but I am keeping an open mind about exploring other tracks such as environmental consulting.
What’s so cool about environmental science?
What’s not cool about environmental science? It is such a multi-faceted science. You have to understand inorganic and organic processes (the actual science), but I think it is really unique in that it comes with a very serious responsibility and obligation to help save the earth. And I don’t mean that environmental science people are all hippies, our classes just really focus on understanding the consequences of exploiting the earth’s resources for human benefit. It’s really cutting edge in that climate change is a current and future problem that involves not only environmental science but the social sciences as well! But also, the earth is just so cool and not enough people realize that!
What do you tell people when they ask why you aren’t going to med school?
Because it's not what I want right now. And when they look concerned, I remind them that I can apply to med school anytime I want, it doesn’t have to be right after school. Usually, I am talking to other pre-meds so they’re like “hey go you, why am I not doing that?”
Looking back, if you could tell freshman year you one thing, what would it be?
That you gotta hit the lows to reach the highs. Everything is a process and sometimes it’s better to trust the process rather than fighting it. Also that if you think you are working hard and you’re not seeing immediate results, to keep going.
Images: 1, all other images supplied by interviewee