Martin’s story: Genius is college student in hiding

Beth Sewell

Behind her sweet smile and genuine personality, Greenville sophomore Lauren Martin is hiding a well-guarded secret – she’s a genius.

Martin came to Western with 15 college credit hours already under her belt, and it’s been full steam ahead ever since. Her plan to graduate in three years was put into action when she put her four years of high school Spanish to the test and tested out of Spanish I and II.

“I just think if I can do it in three years, why not?” Martin said. “I’m going to be in school for four more years to be a clinical psychologist so I just want to get in and get out.”

With 18 hours each semester filled with courses like statistical and experimental psychology, Martin gets many questions as to how she keeps up with school and still manages to have a social life.

She isn’t afraid to tell them the bitter truth that college isn’t hard.

“I don’t think Western is any harder than high school,” she said. “I have plenty of time to do what I want and still have a 4.0.”

The only time Martin doubted her belief about college was the dreaded day she “almost” got a C on a test. Martin, having never received below a B on anything handed back to her in class, freaked out when she saw the big fat red C at the top of her statistics test. Her eyes got big, her breath got short and for a moment, she felt the pains of receiving an “average” grade. A moment is all it lasted until her teacher announced the curve for the test.

Martin left class with a strong B.

“I was so happy he curved it because that would have been the first C I ever got,” Martin said. “It was a relief.”

If she had gotten the C, the only person Martin would have to answer to is herself. Her parents aren’t a source of pressure for good grades. She said her mom and dad constantly tell her to “take a break” and “go have fun.” However, Martin argues she’s having fun and making the grade at the same time.

“They’re proud of me and they reward me for it,” Martin said. “I get pretty much whatever I want because they know I work hard.”

But Martin’s parents aren’t the only ones who reward her. Western is in the mix too. As the four-year recipient of the Award of Distinction Scholarship, Martin gets her tuition, room and board and $200 of books from the university.

Although she’s cutting Western some slack by reducing the four year bill to three, she said it won’t be long before she’s back in school training to be a clinical psychologist.

“My dad wanted me to go into economics and my mom wanted me to be a teacher,” Martin said. “But I’m just doing my own thing.”