I Will Be Chasing the Starlight
By Stephanie, age 16, Texas
All my life I've been told I shouldn't be a writer. You won't get a job. No one hires writers. Writers? They're broke and hungry. So whenever people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I chugged out the normal responses that only over-achieving, lying goodie-two-shoes people can pull off. A lawyer! A businesswoman! A doctor! A SeaWorld Trainer! Oh crap, did I say the wrong thing? Mom, why are you staring at me like that?
But now that college apps are looming in my bright and soon future, the little option for "please pick a selected field of study and explain why" is dancing in my face, laughing and pointing. Some majors seem interesting to me, but how can I explain why they interest me if I don't really have a clue what they are about? Yeah, um, nuclear physics. I love studying that. Why? Oh, because I do nuclear physical chemistry experiments in my back yard. Please believe me. Wait, why are you rejecting my application? PLEASE COME BACK I REALLY DO LOVE NUCLEAR PHYSICS!!!! WAAAAAAAAAAHHHH. AT LEAST READ MY ESSAYS!
Countless times people have asked me, "What do you want to do with your life?" and to write never once went through my head. I never once thought that I would love to study the written word and how it impacts people beyond the text, when in reality there is actually nothing more I would like to study than that. To be clearer in writing, to be deeper, to be stronger. I would love to learn how to trigger the emotions no one wants to feel with a few words. I would love to learn how to write 80 lines of poetry and have every line make sense. I would LOVE even more to stay up all night in college working on the perfect essay and have that feeling of YES, I SUCCEEDED while turning it in. Which is funny, really, because whenever I think of college, I think, Gosh, it would suck to stay up all night every night doing math sets. But I don't have to. I don't have to. You study what you want to study.
And something I've become more comfortable with is that I want to write in college. And not just in that one composition class every freshman is required to take, but in depth writing for all four years. Looking at all my clubs and what I do in my spare time, I think it's what I should do and I think it's in my best interest to study in college what I find is interesting, not what other people think is interesting for me. I don't have to graduate with the goal of becoming a writer and nothing else, nor am I going to study only writing in college, but I am definitely going to devote an enormously large chunk of myself to loving words, not by themselves, but together.
To more revelations in the future.