Submitted to The Simpsonian
Senior Olivia Curtis is a major in health and exercise from Underwood, IA. When she first came to Simpson, Curtis wanted to major in elementary education and then criminal justice before finally settling into health and exercise science.
“I was told to take a few classes to see if I liked it. So I took two classes from Nicci [Whalen], and I ended up really liking it, so that is why I stayed there,” she said.
When asked who her favorite professor is at Simpson, Curtis referenced Whalen, Katie Smith, Cal Busby and Jackie Brittingham before admitting it was too hard to decide on just one.
“They are just very genuine, and they cared about me as a student and person,” Curtis said. “They are willing to work with me whenever I need them, and they also check up on me if they ever see something is off.”
She has been involved in the health and exercise club, student-athlete advisory committee and cited her involvement on the dance team as her primary reason for choosing Simpson.
“I saw them perform at state, and I liked them. Their choreography seemed cool, so I ended up looking at Simpson because of the dance team,” Curtis said.
As for her plans after Simpson, Curtis hopes to work as a personal trainer or group exercise leader in the Des Moines area.
“I want to work with people towards weight loss but not just to lose weight,” Curtis said. “I want to advocate for health at every size and body positivity. I want to start in the gym with that and then eventually grow more towards a bigger area.”
With her senior year being impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic, Curtis said she learned a lot about loving others and understanding others’ circumstances through the virus.
“You have to understand and be more patient with yourself and others when it comes to this sort of thing,” she said. “Just show love and let go of the things that irritate you.”
When asked what her advice would be to her underclassman self, Curtis said that standing by others is paramount.
“Stick up for other people and yourself, and do things that make you happy,” she said. “And if it does not make you happy, you do not have to stick around and do it.”
Curtis’ favorite Simpson memories have all come from making friends and being social in dance and the rest of her student career.
“Just having that social aspect and going to nationals in Florida and Las Vegas,” she said. “Just making friends, especially senior year. I’ve really enjoyed just having the social experience.”
The senior hopes to leave Simpson with an impact of kindness and acceptance by the time she graduates.