Amanda Paladino, Features Editor
Freshman Sydney Muraca, a health studies major with a concentration in Occupational Therapy, has found an innovative way to combine her passion for positive living with her educational trajectory.
Occupational Therapy is a unique field of health studies that aims to aid the recovery process of those suffering from serious injury. Muraca’s goals of exploring this career path in the future tie in to her desire to help people and make them comfortable with themselves and their daily lives. Even in the aftermath of serious accidents, often leaving individuals unable to perform basic functions or resulting in the amputation of a limb, the body is capable of major resilience.
“People can adapt to a new way of life where they’re almost back to ‘normal’ living,” Muraca said. “The human body is amazing in the ways it can adapt, and my major provides for that.
The theme of innovative adaption has been persistent throughout Muraca’s life, ultimately providing her with the greatest rewards. When traveling to Australia the summer before her junior year of high school, Muraca embarked on a life-changing journey with a group of students she barely knew.
“Traveling to the other side of the planet with near strangers? Scary, but also the most rewarding. I’d do it again in a heart beat,” she said.
She quickly learned that sometimes the greatest risks in life have the most fulfilling results. Following suit, one of Muraca’s personal goals for herself is to skydive before she turns 21.
While she has learned the potential for growth through taking big chances, Muraca also recognizes the power of the little things in life. She lives by the phrase “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” To her, the most important thing is to perpetually pursue things that make you happy.
“All you hear about is negativity,” Muraca said. “You need to have a good outlook. It’s important.”
Muraca’s positive perspective stems from surrounding herself with supportive people and participating in activities that bring her joy. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors above all, using dirt bikes, four wheelers, or going mudding. She also enjoys going fishing, kayaking, hiking, and long boarding.
“Our planet is so beautiful and diverse, and I try to enjoy that every chance I can,” Muraca said.