What do I Want to be When I Grow Up?

My Past, Present, and Future Career Goals

            As a child, my top two favorite activities to do everyday was play with my Barbies and play on my swing-set/treehouse in the backyard. I would get home from school in elementary and middle school everyday and run right to the swings, and I would play out there until dinner time. My neighbors and I were also very close. My next door neighbors were like my older and younger brothers that I never had. My best friend and her brother lived only a few houses down from me, and I typically saw her every single day. My best friend and I had a huge obsession with Barbies. If our parents allowed it during the week, the two of us would get together and play with our Barbies. If I wasn’t playing with my Barbies or outside on my swing-set, I was more than likely outside with my dog on a walk in our neighborhood. If I was feeling lazy, I would stay inside and binge-watch Disney channel or Nickelodeon. However, even though I did all of these fun activities, I typically had a lot of self-discipline and would always do my homework before doing anything fun.

When I was in second grade, we were assigned a project in which we had to state what we wanted to be when we grew up. Many of my friends and classmates chose professions like doctors, firefighters, police officers, movie stars, etc. I decided that I really wanted to be a pet groomer. I figured that if I loved animals so much that being a pet groomer would be the best career I could ever have. When I got a little bit older, I decided I didn’t want to be a pet groomer. Instead, I became obsessed with weddings, and even got my mom to buy me a “bride” Barbie. I almost immediately wanted to work as a bridal consultant at Kleinfeld in New York City. This was my dream job through middle school and a little bit of high school. Then, I decided I wanted to be more involved with weddings. I decided I wanted to be a wedding planner. That dream lasted me from high school until my freshman year of college. I then learned that I have a strong passion for writing. I could spend every minute or everyday writing a fictional story on my computer. It is more fun than watching TV or playing a game. What is the dream now? I want to be a writer. I would love to write an autobiography, short stories, or even write for magazines or newspapers.

While growing up, I never had any childhood businesses. I never even had a lemonade stand on my driveway. However, my best friend and I used to write stories together on her parents’ computer. We wrote about how we met and our memories of the two of us. We would also make up fake stories about weddings and other fantasies we had. In my junior year of high school, my school gave us the opportunity to get an unpaid internship for one week. They called it Junior Work Week. We could choose to do almost anything. One of my classmates chose to shadow a police officer. Another friend of mine got to watch open-heart surgeries. I wanted to pursue my passion for weddings, so I chose to work at Tiffany’s Bridal and the Groom’s Corner in my hometown, Richmond, Virginia. I got to assist bridal consultants with their appointments with brides. I thought I was in heaven. Then, the summer after my senior year of high school, I printed out and distributed fliers to all of my neighbors’ mailboxes with a picture of me and some information about me, such as where I went to high school and where I would be attending college in the fall. I offered to babysit, pet-sit, water their plants, bring their mail in, and run any errands they needed me to. I got a few calls from moms in the neighborhood and got a few babysitting jobs. I also pet-sit for a few neighbors. That was my first paid “job.” After my freshman year of college, I got my first actual job at the Regal movie theater in my hometown. I worked at the concessions stand selling popcorn, drinks, candy, pizza, etc. I also got assigned to rip tickets at the door.  I found another job at Tropical Smoothie Café. I left my job at the movie theater and started at Tropical Smoothie. I worked at the cash register, sometimes helped to make the smoothies, and also helped prep the ingredients in the back. Then, this past summer I found a paid internship at Connexions Loyalty, which is a loyalty company that is in charge of distributing and organizing rewards such as gift cards, points, miles, etc. It was an amazing experience. I was treated as though I was a real employee. I loved the people I worked with. I worked 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday. I had my own cubicle with my own phone and computer. My two managers would assign me different projects to help them become and stay organized. They also found out how much I love to write, so they allowed me to write a few blog posts for their blog. I would absolutely recommend this internship to anyone.

When I was in high school, I took Creative Writing for two years. It was so much fun. I loved getting to write about almost anything that I wanted to. We went on food tours through Richmond and then were assigned with writing a summary and/or story about it. I looked forward to the class everyday. When I came to UMW, I thought about taking the Creative Writing class here, but did not want to have to go through English 295. I decided to join the Creative Writing club instead. I have written notes and letters to family members and friends and they have always told me that I have a way with words that mean so much to them. That is what I strive for. I struggled with reading comprehension in elementary and middle school, and met with a tutor for it every week. I still struggle with it a little bit. The subjects in school that always caused me trouble were science classes and history classes. I am good at memorizing, but not applying myself. I can state the facts, but not dig deeper into anything. I also used to struggle with math, but I found a tutor and she helped raise my grade from a D to an A. One subject that I have always typically done well in is English, besides the occasional difficulty in reading comprehension. I believe that all of the papers and books I have read for classes I have taken have inspired me to want to write more and possibly as a career.

In high school, I did not participate in many extracurricular activities. However, for the first three years I was a part of our school’s chorus. After deciding choir wasn’t for me, I joined the FOCUS club. FOCUS stands for Fellowship of Christian Universities. The meetings were at lunch time on Wednesdays. There would always be pizza and a little bit of Bible study. It was a lot of fun. I am not athletic at all, and have never enjoyed playing sports. I like to stick to being a part of clubs that don’t require me to play any sports. When I came to college, I became a part of the Catholic Campus Ministry, the Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) club, and the PAWS club. I still participate in all of these now, but I’ve branched out to volunteer with the Red Cross Club and the Relay for Life club. I am introverted and extroverted. I enjoy being around people sometimes, and other times I need to be alone to recuperate. I never joined SGA or anything like that, but would possibly be interested in becoming an officer of a club. One skill I’ve learned about myself is that I love to help others. If I can give back, I will. I’m hoping this can possibly help me in my writing career where I can write about experiences such as participating in Relay for Life or walking in the Alzheimer’s Walk.

My family has always been the most important aspect of my life. When I was twelve-years-old, my mom passed away from a battle of cervical cancer. After her death, I grew so much closer to my family. I went to visit my grandma down in San Antonio, Texas for six weeks. We grew so much closer and it was a great way to spend my summer. She has always been an inspiration to me. She was born in 1925 in Olfen, Texas. When she got older, she went onto college and studied to become a nurse. She worked in the emergency room, where she literally had to live for a little while. She worked with the iron lung and many sick patients who had polio. She remained a nurse for years, and then got married to my grandpa. He was a real estate agent and also owned his own clothing business, Todd’s. My grandma remained a nurse while having to raise four children and being a full-time mother. My grandma has always worked so hard for everything she has. She doesn’t take anything for granted and even though she is in her nineties, she continues to work hard. She is retired, but she still acts like a full-time mother. She is an inspiration to me because she started with absolutely nothing and now has almost everything she could have ever dreamed of. She is an example of someone who has never given up. I don’t want to be a nurse, but I would love to someday write a book on my grandma’s life. I have written my grandma many letters and notes and every time she is almost brought to tears. She always encourages me to write, which is an amazing feeling.

In the future, I would love to become a writer or journalist. I watched to movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in which the main character, Kate Hudson, works for a magazine and she is assigned to write an article in which she has to find a guy to date for ten days and only ten days. This movie inspired me to want to become a journalist. It was like a window into what it might be like to work in journalism. I think it would be great to work for a magazine such as The New Yorker or a company like Buzzfeed. I would also love to become an author. I love to write fiction and also stories from my own life, and would love to turn these into real-life books. Another job that I would enjoy is possibly working for the local newspaper, such as the Richmond Times Dispatch. If a career in writing doesn’t work out, I’d still be interested in becoming a wedding planner.