Graduation can seem lightyears away, especially when your health is at risk. Intense medical treatments and long-term hospitalization can derail even the most committed students. In the years leading up to her graduation, Natalie Beck was forced to miss many classes and accept incomplete grades due to invasive medical procedures, including eight inpatient stays in the hospital.
Beck lives with from Crohn’s disease, and it has affected her performance throughout her academic career. Despite missing up to three weeks of class at a time, Beck knew she was capable of academic success.
“Even if I was really down at times, I tried to power through,” she says. Academic accomplishment on a traditional timeline is made increasingly difficult with the added stress of health problems, but Beck accepted her route, earning a degree in environmental studies, with minors in psychology and biology.
Beck was surprised to learn she had been nominated for a Triumph Cord. “I just thought I was a regular person graduating, and when I found out about it, it made me feel special and recognized,” she says.
Beck is a positive reminder that all accomplishments, no matter the time it took to get there, are worthy of pride. “I wanted to be an example for other people,” she says. “I still made it through. It doesn’t matter how long it took to get there.”
To other students facing challenges, Beck says, “Go with the flow and take it one day at a time.”