Liz Ludman (’24)
April 10, 2023
Displayed above her bed in big black letters is “Elizabeth”, interspersed with a roller coaster track. She is a fervent lover of roller coasters, fittingly symbolic of her larger journey through life. She may be afraid, but she goes on, experiencing the adrenaline, the ups, the downs, the loopty loops, the thrill, and the fear.
Elizabeth Ludman (‘24) may not know what life will entail, but she jumps in her seat, eyes open, hands up, knowing that she is ready to experience the ride.
In middle school, Elizabeth, more popularly known as Liz, did not care what anyone else was wearing. She adorned herself in dresses and sparkles, adamant in her refusal to not wear sneakers. Even though she now says she dresses like everyone else, her rebellious attitude has remained intact in other areas of her life.
Ever since she was six years old, Liz has been swimming. Entering Cherry Hill High School East, she accordingly joined the swim team. But she quickly became bored of the usual, conventionality, the same old routine. So in freshman year, itching for novelty and challenge, she grew intrigued with the idea of trying a sport she hated.
“I took it as a challenge, and I signed up for running because I hated nothing more than running… I went for it… I think I cried consecutively the first two weeks of practice. I ran six miles my second day of ever running in my life. I don’t know if I’ve cried that hard since then. [But] I just fell in love with it, and I couldn’t believe I fell in love with it. My friends still didn’t believe me a month into track that I was doing it; I hated running so much… and I loved it. And then I decided to do cross country which I loved even more and since then it’s been running” she said.
Something once completely out of her comfort zone had turned into a passion. And this year as a junior, she made the decision to do winter track instead of continuing swimming for the high school team.
Breaking expectations is natural to Liz. Growing up, she would get lightheaded around her own blood, and her parents would get embarrassed that she couldn’t cut her own food. Yet, after loving 9th grade Biology, she found herself enrolling in classes to put her on the path to becoming a doctor (something she somewhat credits to her mom’s watching of Grey’s Anatomy while she was pregnant with her).
“It almost just seemed interesting… When I first walked into the cadaver lab at Rowan Medicine… I felt so comforted there. I just felt disconnected from reality in such a good way. I could have stayed there for hours that first time.”
She doesn’t hide from hard things, rather, they seem to find her and attract her. They are challenging, but challenging things are interesting. And when something seems interesting, she goes in full force.
“I just find it interesting. My mom for Christmas, she got me this 310 flashcard for Human Anatomy. And it’s by far one of my favorite presents. I just love learning. I could learn forever… I just want to keep enlightening myself with knowledge.”
Her love for learning is put on display in her classes, specifically her anatomy classes, where she can become completely focused on a task, becoming so immersed she loses track of time.
“I feel like I get an adrenaline rush from a lot of things like running or hard things when I complete them. I am just so addicted to it. In Human Anatomy or even Vertebrae Anatomy when I took that, we did these things called practicals and you only had so much time to identify all of the muscles and it went by so fast. Even if I didn’t know something, I just got such a rush from it. I could do a practical for hours and not know a thing on it and still have fun. I just love it.”
Liz has always loved to ask questions, to know why, but also has learned how to express her opinion and self unapologetically, an idea she finds fundamental to love.
“I feel like you can’t fall in love with someone without showing them your whole self. Because then you feel like there is a divide and you still can’t be yourself. And that doesn’t allow you to love them. You can still like them a lot. But you are not going to be able to love someone until you show them yourself.”
Who Liz is, is a rule breaker. When she needed a #20 for her track uniform, she is the person who takes a 2 and a 9 and rips off the bottom of the 9 and sticks them together. She is a speedwalker, coffee lover, adrenaline junkie, Marvel lover (with the same birthday as Robert John Downey Jr.) and an over analyzer.
But she is also a dreamer. She has dreams—places to go, things to do, people to love, and dreams to prove. But they don’t stay dreams, they are plans, and she takes the necessary steps towards them. She isn’t afraid to try new things, to step out of boxes, and to love with passion. She is stubborn, outspoken, determined, and passionate. But underneath it all, she has a mission.
“I live by something. No one is a waste of space, everyone was put on this Earth for a reason. I just want to do my duty of bringing something better.”
Eyes open, hands up, she lives for the ride.