There’s one question that has followed me throughout my life. One query which has been on my mind for my 22 1/2 years. A quiz that rivals “Where’s the remote?” in the number of times I’ve been asked or pondered it.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
For my final column, I could have written about a variety of topics: how the media views media, why people don’t care for the music I like, or rollercoasters. But I decided to pick a topic we’ve all encountered. I’m sure you were asked this question on the first day of kindergarten, maybe earlier.
To be honest, I never gave it much thought until recently. Consider it the ultimate procrastination. Here I am, a bit less than two weeks from my graduation at the time of writing this, and did I answer the question?
I am an only child, so I don’t have an older brother or sister to look up to or emulate. When I was younger, I wanted to be a train engineer. I liked trains, so it seemed like a natural fit. It’s the first career I remember wanting. I believe in kindergarten or first grade, we had to give a presentation on what we wanted to be when we grew up. I picked train engineer, but the next year, I picked a car mechanic. Looking back on that now, I’m not the best with working with my hands (I didn’t learn to tie my shoes until fifth grade), so it’s a bit ironic to me.
My mom always thought veterinary school would be a nice job for me, and as I wrote earlier this semester, I love dogs. However, she saw the price of what veterinary school costs, and told me I could be whatever I wanted to be as long as it wasn’t a veterinarian. I’m confident that if I chose it, though, she would still support me.
I was a very talkative child, so much so that my first grade teacher had to ask if I had a question or wanted to tell a story when I raised my hand in class. My mom told me the story about one experience at a restaurant when I was about 4. We walked up to the counter to order, and I started talking to the elderly man sitting at the counter. I asked him questions and told him all about my life. The man enjoyed talking to me, turned to my mom and said, “This kid’s going to be famous someday.”
While I’m light years away from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, many people said I should try acting. I was more often than not casted as the lead role in my church plays as a youth. That road never panned out for me. However, my dream job would be hosting a late-night talk show. I’ve done amateur stand-up comedy in the past, and I love talking to people. On my most recent Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, I scored a 30 out of 30 on extraverted.
While we all can dream, we all must face reality. I faced it when I graduated high school and needed to start college. When picking out a major, I remembered the one semester of journalism I had in high school my junior year. I wrote one story about an Earth science teacher who was also a black belt in Korean jujitsu. I was always in advanced, honors and AP English classes, so I thought I’d give writing a shot. It was probably the one thing I was halfway decent at.
I joined St. Louis Community College-Meramec’s student newspaper, The Montage, my sophomore year because there was a copy editor position open which paid. Looking for a job, I applied and nabbed the spot. I then transferred to Webster where I joined The Journal as a copy editor, but then transitioned to opinions editor and ultimately sports editor.
My experiences on The Journal have hopefully helped me answer that tough question. I have other opportunities awaiting me if I want to take advantage of them, but a career in sports writing is perhaps on the horizon. However, I’ll love the friends I’ve made on The Journal more than anything else.
I’d like to extend a special thanks to Journal adviser Larry Baden for all you’ve taught me, copy chief & layout editor Josh Sellmeyer for helping me with my sports writing, and to current Journal editor-in-chief Brittany Ruess for being there and sticking up for not just me but for all the Journal family.
And to my mom and dad, for all you’ve done for me and for laughing with me — not at me.