Christina Singh finds passion at St Edward’s after traveling from Jamaica

While studying at St. Edward’s University, Christina Singh grew from a shy international student from Kingston, Jamaica, to an outgoing health and dance instructor for the campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Singh will graduate in May 2022 with a major in behavioral neuroscience and wants to pursue a master’s degree in public health.

When she visited St. Edward’s as a freshman, Singh said she “felt in love with the scenery and architecture of the campus and Austin.” She liked that St. Edward’s had a large population of international students and felt the campus was “small enough to be intimate but big enough to meet new students from around the world”.

At first, Singh was nervous about attending an international university. “Especially since it’s in Texas and I didn’t know much about Texas,” Singh said.

She felt that an international university was a better fit than continuing her studies in Jamaica, where “the school is competitive, rigorous and limited to certain traditional skills like law or medicine”.

Singh chose a liberal arts school for his various study plans. “St. Edward’s was the perfect place to find my passion,” Singh said.

When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Singh was unable to return to campus. “It was too far and plane tickets became expensive due to border closures. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to go back to Jamaica,” Singh said.

However, Singh found the online classes exhausting. “I haven’t left the house much and I’ve lost connection with my friends.” Being on Zoom for so long “made me shy again — I didn’t get the social interaction I wanted,” Singh said.

One positive experience she took away from the pandemic was hosting a Zumba dance class over Zoom with her international friend from Panama, Lian Li. Li, who also attends St. Edward’s, inspired Singh to become an instructor. “She pushed me to pursue my dreams,” Singh said.

After returning to campus, Singh applied for a job as a fitness instructor for Group X at the Rec Center. She teaches a class called “Cardio Dance with Chrissy”.

Working at the Recreation Center “has helped me enhance my passion and show my passion for health, wellness and fitness together. I would love to explore that and public health policy and promotion,” Singh said.

Singh’s favorite spots in Austin are St. Edward’s Football Field and the South Congress. “At night, I go to the campus football field to see the skyline when the city lights are on in the distance, and I reflect on myself,” she said. Singh also enjoys visiting stores, such as Kendra Scott, at South Congress with his friends in his spare time.

Singh’s favorite memory of St. Edward’s is moving in with his second-grade roommates. “I had an established group of friends at that time. They were people I knew and are still very close to today,” Singh said.

She loved having people to confide in and build strong relationships with. “We had some fun adventures going out and exploring Austin,” Singh said.

Singh’s favorite post-pandemic memory at St. Edward’s started her dance lessons because she had longed to do so.

Singh’s experience as a fitness instructor has been rewarding. “People come back to my classes and are really happy and excited. [Dance] relieves their stress and makes them happy,” Singh said.

Singh found her passion at St. Edward’s and enjoys sharing her love for health and fitness with others. Her only regret is waiting to start her dance class in her final year of college. She hopes to continue giving fitness classes in the future.