How "Doctor Who" Saved My Life

How "Doctor Who" Saved My Life

With the new season of "Doctor Who" starting soon, here is why the show means so much to me.

2010 to 2012 were the darkest years of my life. While I had some of the best times of my life and made many incredible, lifelong friends those years, I struggled with depression tremendously. I hit rock bottom and then dragged along for what felt like an eternity. I was barely passing classes, I lost a lot of weight from not eating, and I was not happy with who I was. I was lost.

I started going to church and made some amazing friends who were accepting in every form of the word. Being in a wheelchair, there are often times where I am left out of things because I can't get somewhere or do something. This group was more inclusive than anyone I'd ever met. They would go out of their way to make sure I could be involved, including the times they lifted me in my 300+ pound wheelchair up steps into different houses. That is when I started to accept myself. The depression began to lift, but in 2012 my best friend passed away and I felt it coming back in full force.

In March of 2013, I randomly started watching "Doctor Who" on Netflix. I had no idea what this show was, but it kept popping up in my suggestions, so, I started it. I started the first episode (of the newer series) and, honestly, thought it was really weird. I didn't believe that it was something I would like at all, but for some reason, I kept watching. After three or four episodes, I was hooked.

Now, for those of you who don't know, this show has been on for over 50 years. It ran from 1963 to 1989, there was a movie in 1996, and then the show was rebooted in 2005. I started with the newer series because that's what was available at the time. Plus, I had no idea it had been on longer. I finished season one and grew attached right before the Doctor regenerated. Naturally, I was devastated and did not want him to change to a new person. However, by the end of David Tennant’s first episode, I loved him.

Tennant's three seasons are what actually made me love the show. It was exciting, it was funny, and it broke my heart over and over. Each time a doctor or companion leaves, I am upset and don’t want anyone new. Then I end up loving them and the cycle continues. Those of you who watch the show know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s an endless, vicious cycle that rips your heart out repetitively, but you can’t imagine life any other way.

Ten, played by David Tennant, may be the Doctor who started this obsession, but I love them all. Eleven, played by Matt Smith, is probably my favorite, though it is really hard to pick. His three seasons are the ones I go back and re-watch frequently, and my favorite episodes and plot twists take place with him as the Doctor.

While "Doctor Who" is entertaining and amusing, there are many serious moments as well. There are so many inspirational quotes throughout the series. (Look for an article next week with a list of my favorite quotes!) The new season is starting Saturday, April 15, and I could not be more excited! When I say "Doctor Who" is my favorite show, that is an understatement. This show changed my life and ultimately saved it.

In a time where I was so full of self-doubt, "Doctor Who" showed me that everyone is important. It showed me that anyone can make a difference. This show has taught me that no dream is too big; it taught me to never give up and that, sometimes, even the impossible can happen. It showed me that it’s okay to find humor and happiness in life, even when your past has been filled with darkness. Being part of this “fandom” has shown me that it’s OK to be myself and that I am not alone. I have made amazing friends because of this show. Most importantly, though, I have accepted myself and know that I am important.

Cover Image Credit: Just Watch

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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