I am JJ: Good luck on your finals, future food-allergy researcher

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It's just after 1 a.m., and I am finally getting to today's post. Right now, I am in the basement of the Van Pelt Library surrounded by a semester's worth of notes — notes for Cost Accounting and  Financial Derivatives and Macroeconomics. This is finals week at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Like many students my age,  I'm serious about my studies. The library is packed. It's always packed. And that is what gives me incredible hope for my generation. Right now, in some place, someone is locking down and studying. And that someone might possibly be learning something that could change my life. Where is that student who someday might find a cure for food allergies? Maybe the person is sitting right here in this library with me. Or in a library in the school next door or in the next state or across the nation or a world away.

And who's sitting beside that future researcher, the student whose contribution also will transform the lives of people living with food allergies? Where's that future social worker or philanthropist or doctor or inventor or psychologist or teacher or nurse or dietician who will take what they learn, connect it with food allergies, and apply it to their field of expertise?

Wherever they are, whoever they are, I hope they study hard, absorb the knowledge from the books and lecture notes in front of them, and apply it all to their chosen fields. My life — and the lives of millions of others — could depend on it!


JJ Vulopas is a junior at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. An advocate for young people, JJ has lived with food allergies his entire life. He is the author of the children's book, Land of Not. You can read his daily blog at www.thelandofcan.com and follow him @thelandofcan on Twitter and Instagram.