"You get what you give". This is the motto that my dad always said as I was growing up. I live off this quote because I believe it is a 100% correct. What you give is what you deserve. My name is Kristen Winterhalder and I am a sophomore at the University of Alabama. I grew up in Northern California in the San Francisco Bay Area and loved every minute of it. For college, my parents wanted me to experience something different rather than just staying in the state I was comfortable in, and with the people I knew all my life. I also wanted to expand my horizons and that is why I choose the University of Alabama.
In the 10 years before college, I was a competitive cheerleader which was my life. I could not have asked for a better hobby because it brought out the best in me. Competitive cheer influenced my life by teaching me how to fight for something. It also taught me how to have determination and respect for my other teammates and coaches and responsibility by showing up on time for practices and competitions.I was one of the top cheerleaders in Northern California and in 2011, was elected to the Golden State Spirit Association All-State Team.I was fortunate enough to win two scholarships and compete in the World Cheerleading Finals in Florida four times.
My mother was also a huge influence on me growing up and I would not be the same without her. One thing she encouraged me to do when I was growing up was to be a part of a club or organization. This past year, I was part of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority where I enjoyed the many philanthropy opportunities.Through middle and high school, I was involved with Tassajara Valley 4-H where I participated in many community service activities.My most memorable service opportunity was tutoring senior citizens on how to use their computers.I developed a close bond with these ladies and learned that I have an affinity for working with elderly people. Through 4-H, I also won many cooking, cake decorating, and photography awards at our county fair and for my record book. I am blessed to have had a wonderful childhood filled with people and experiences that made a difference in my life.
As I approached high school, my parents told me that they would help fund half of a vehicle when I turned 16 but that I would need to make up the other half. I took this as a challenge and set out to show them I could do it. During this time, my mom was taking my two year old sister to a place called "My Gym Children’s Fitness Center". One day at the end of 8th grade, I went with them and asked for a job.I worked there all through high school and even worked there this past summer. It was an amazing first job and taught me responsibility, trust and leadership. Besides also babysitting through high school, I was able to complete a two year Regional Occupational Program in high school for childcare called the Development Psychology of Children.My experiences with children have taught me how to be patient and understanding.
My short term goals are to study Nutrition which I find very interesting and graduate in four years with a job right out of college.I also want to take the next two years and learn more about myself and travel to another country to experience more about the world. My long term goals are to travel more and to make enough money to live a good life. I eventually want to settle down one day and have kids of my own and let them enjoy their childhood years as much as I did. I want to have a successful life and live it to the highest.