Supreme to the Extreme
Hilton Head Island High School senior, Megan Carey, describes herself as "an extremist," not in a pejorative or political sense, but in her total dedication to every endeavor. "I over-think absolutely everything," she said. "Sometimes that's good for me, and sometimes not. It's good in that I have foresight and I plan well. In a somewhat negative way, it sort of holds me back from being spontaneous and carefree. And it sometimes takes me longer to do work for fear of coming up short."
She recalls a passage from her favorite book, The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, in which the main character describes sitting in the crook of a fig tree. Surrounded by the ripe fruit, she cannot decide which one to pick, because she knows the rest will fall away. But at the same time, the figs are slowly deteriorating. "I really related to that book," said Megan, "like my wanting to explore all the options, but at the same time, having to take a risk and take action and make a choice."
Megan has since plucked the fruit. Headed for the University of Notre Dame this fall, she will major in biochemistry. "I always liked math and science, but I didn't have a real sense of direction," she said. Following her mom's advice to do an internship at the Volunteers in Medicine clinic, she found her true calling. "I know for sure that I'd like to be a doctor. I'm thinking neurology. But I'm not sure if I would rather practice or do research or maybe a combination of the two."
Beyond her intellectual pursuits, Megan also finds time to play. She enjoys a variety of sports and is currently focusing on track and cross-country. "Sports not only help you to relax, but being on a team, you don't get pigeonholed in your own world" she said. "Being in better physical shape helps you focus and just feel better."
Megan is fully focused on the commitment it will take to achieve her career goals: four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, a one year internship and a three year residency. "I can make a difference. If I were to do research in the medical field, I think I could improve people's quality of life," she said.
"I'd also like to do volunteer work when I'm older. I don't consider myself a political person, but I would like to see people be a little more tolerant of others. I don't know how to do it, but I want to promote more open-mindedness and acceptance in America-increase the understanding that everyone comes from a different place," she said.
"Whatever I do, I want to continue to grow and to leave a mark in the world."
Born: April 27, 1990, at Hilton Head Hospital Family: dad, Pat; mom, Mary; brother, Matt, 22; family pet, nine-year old yellow Lab, Erin Describes herself as: ambitious and sincere HHIHS Principal, Amanda O'Nan, describes her as: "phenomenal-a young woman of great character." Favorite subjects: European history and calculus In her spare time, find her: watching movies with her friends, goofing off and catching some extra zzzs. Person who has most inspired her: her mom. "She's just the kindest person. She goes out of her way to help everyone. She's set a great example for me." Honors and Service: In addition to maintaining a GPA above 5.1, Megan serves as president of the National Honor Society and is a member of the Spanish Honor Society and mathematics honor society, Mu Alpha Theta. A member of Ser Teen, an offshoot of the service organization, Sertoma, she participates in numerous community service projects and charity fundraising events. She also volunteers to teach swimming at the rec center. She is a Reilly Scholar (in the top two percent of Notre Dame applicants) and has been selected to participate in the Glynn Family Honors Program.