Drea Trumble writes her own story

From overwhelmed first-year to heavily involved junior, Trumble continues pursuing her passions at SU
Drea Trumble (right) in one of her first clinicals as a nursing major and psychology minor.
Drea Trumble (right) in one of her first clinicals as a nursing major and psychology minor.
Drea Trumble

Drea Trumble heaved a gallon of milk into her backpack. She mounted her lavender bike in the Safeway parking lot and began to pedal down Reisterstown Road. The wind stung her cheeks like needles, whipping her hair across her face. An incessant stream of approaching vehicles screamed in her ear, suddenly dropping in pitch as they passed. Beneath the blanket of noise, the milk sloshed in its jug as Trumble rode toward campus, toward her new life.

In August 2022, the then 17-year-old nursing and psychology double major entered her first semester at Stevenson disoriented and alone.

“Going into college, I was pretty much just doing it. I figured out a lot of things by myself,” Trumble said.

She wasn’t alone.

A 2022 study of 54,000 undergraduates by the American College Health Association (ACHA) revealed that about 77% of college students experienced varying levels of psychological distress while in school.

I didn’t feel like I had to please anyone because there was no one. At the same time, if I ever had a rough spot… I didn’t know anybody… I was on the struggle bus.

— Trumble

Trumble — in a foreign environment with no car, little money and little family support — needed something to lean on. 

So that year, she joined the cross country team. She found solace in running, as it allowed her to clear her mind and organize her thoughts when overwhelmed with the responsibilities that came with college life.

“I used to love running, back when I could,” Trumble said. “I would go on a five-mile run, and I would think of every single problem I had at that moment and just run.”

“As I was running, I’d think, ‘what can I do about this, what can I do about that?’  and by the end of it, I’d figure it out, or I [wouldn’t].”

Not long into the semester, Trumble was dealt a heavy blow of distressing medical news. She was forced to quit the team, and running all together. 

“When she told me I couldn’t run anymore, that was rough. I just haven’t run ever since then. I had just turned 18. Being told at 18 there’s certain things I just couldn’t do anymore, that was rough,” Trumble said.

Unable to run, while living away from home, without the comfort of friends or family, Trumble turned to what she was most familiar with— books. 

“I read like crazy. I read so many different types of books. A lot of biographies, a lot of nonfiction, a lot of very sad books. I more or less grew up in a library,” Trumble said.

“Books are my everything. Even from political-esque books to sci-fi (which is not really my vibe), and everything in between, there’s something to gain from books.”

Stories became Trumble’s motivation to succeed in school. “Educated,” a memoir written by Tara Westover, had even been Trumble’s inspiration to pursue a higher education.

“That book is the reason I went to college. This girl writes about how her family grew up off the grid, but she really wants to go to school, and the things she does to pursue an education and the things that she does to make it work for her,” Trumble said.

“There are times when everything just goes wrong all at the same time, but I just love reading about people’s stories and thinking, ‘they have also been through something similar, [and] this is what they did to go around it.’”

Trumble found ways to enjoy the outdoors despite an end to her cross country career (Drea Trumble)

The stories and narratives that Trumble enjoyed reading prompted her to look at her own life and ask herself what she wants to be remembered for. 

“I was the quiet one for sure. I was one to just do what I had to do to get by, not really interested in clubs at all or involvement much. Just kind of went to school, did what I had to do, and then got through it,” Trumble said.

However, entering college, she realized that in order to make a difference, she had to engage in the world around her. 

“There were enough times when I know if I would’ve said something, something could have gone a different way, but it didn’t because I didn’t say anything,” Trumble said.

“But the problem is, are you actually contributing something, or are you just kind of filling up space? So I think I realized, if I’m not adding anything, what am I doing?” 

From that moment on, Trumble began to write her own story. Determined to contribute to her community, she quickly became involved on campus. On top of her responsibilities as a member of the Stevenson Honors program and Service scholar, Trumble became the 2025 class representative of the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) and the Poetry Section Editor of The Greenspring Review.

Furthermore, in order to pay for her food and other expenses, Trumble took on two jobs at Stevenson, working in Human Resources and as a Resident Assistant (RA). 

“I wanted to be an RA because I had a really great RA my first year. I wasn’t one to reach out as a freshman, but my RA had a very outgoing personality, and was a very fun person to talk to. So I really loved that about her, but also wanted to be that for other people. I love feeling like I can offer something to freshmen,” Trumble said.

First-year biology major Loghan Andre initially met Trumble in a meeting, along with her roommates. 

“She’s really cool to talk to and so it felt easier communicating with her,” Andre said. 

While Trumble’s calendar is meticulously scheduled with event dates, meetings and class times to the hour, she still strives to find the time to pursue her passions.

Sap
A poem by Drea Trumble

 

A slight sapling at the start,

the same as you and me,

is how the story begins

for this young oak tree.

 

A seed carried in the wind,

a journey taken all alone

before coming across a space

she could finally call her own.

 

Through the roughest days

and all of the darkest nights

The little sap tried it all,

before finding her own vice.

 

The vice she chose to help

On the windiest of days?

The sun who always shown

the very kindest of rays.

 

And so the two shared

the struggles of the days

and both knew the other

Convinced them to stay.

After falling in love with literature, she decided to write her own book, a compilation of her original poems, which she called “Underside of Ladybugs.”  

“There are always hidden messages and double meanings. That is my signature thing with poetry. So I love to play on words that can be read two different ways. A great example is the word tear. I love messing with that in the writing so it can have two very different meanings,” Trumble said.

Trumble (center) with friends and fellow nursing majors in an anatomy class. Trumble dissected and explored a sheep heart, her favorite organ. (Drea Trumble)

Regan Lillard, a third-year nursing major, has been close friends with Trumble since their first year. She has witnessed and supported Trumble through her journey as a nurse and aspiring writer. 

“I think her biggest accomplishment is the poetry book she wrote, which she’s working on getting published. Seeing all of her accomplishments makes me proud to call her my friend,” Lillard said.

Trumble started with little more than her purple bicycle and a gallon of milk. Yet with sheer grit and tenacity, she managed to pave her way to achievements that had before seemed unattainable. 

“There’s always a way through something,” Trumble said. “Sometimes it’s really rough. In that moment, it will feel like the biggest deal and the end of everything. I remember feeling like that so many times in my life.”

Wherever she goes, Trumble has left lasting impacts on the people around her. Unknowingly, she became the very inspiration that the characters in literature had been to her. 

“What if I looked at myself as if I’m my own story?”

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About the Contributor
Katie Campbell, Reporter
Katie is a freshman nursing major from Bethesda, Maryland. In addition to writing for The Villager, she enjoys playing and coaching soccer. With a passion for human interest, she is excited to capture the unique and inspiring stories of the Stevenson community.
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    HattieMar 22, 2024 at 6:13 pm

    Beautiful story

    Reply