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

hristina Singh found ways to get active when the pandemic hit after finding online classes draining. Zumba is a great way to get both your mind and body moving.

Courtesy of Christina Singh

hristina Singh found ways to get active when the pandemic hit after finding online classes draining. Zumba is a great way to get both your mind and body moving.

While at St. Edward’s University, Christina Singh transformed from a shy international student from Kingston, Jamaica into an outgoing peer health and dance fitness instructor for the campus Recreation and Wellness center. Singh will graduate in May 2022 with a major in behavioral neuroscience and is interested in pursuing a master’s degree in public health.

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

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

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

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

When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Singh could not return to campus. “It was too far away, and plane tickets got expensive as borders were closing. I was afraid I would not be able to return to Jamaica,” Singh said.

However, Singh found online classes draining. “I didn’t leave the house that much, and I lost connection to my friends.” Being on Zoom for so long “made me shy again–I didn’t get the social interaction I wanted,” Singh said.

A positive experience that 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 go after my dreams,” Singh said. 

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

Working at the recreation center “helped me improve my passion and show my passion for health, wellness, and fitness together. I’d like to explore that and public health policies and promotion,” said Singh.

Singh’s favorite places in Austin are the St. Edward’s soccer field and South Congress. “At night, I go to the campus soccer field to see the skyline when the city lights are on in the distance, and I self-reflect,” she said. Singh also enjoys visiting shops, like Kendra Scott, on South Congress with her friends during her free time.

Singh’s favorite memory at St. Edward’s is moving in with her roommates in sophomore year. “I had an established friend group at that time. It was people I knew and am still really close with today,” said Singh. 

She enjoyed having people to confide in and form strong bonds with. “We had fun adventures going out and exploring Austin,” said Singh.

Singh’s favorite post-pandemic memory at St. Edward’s was starting her dance classes because she had been aspiring to do so for a long time.  

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

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