I am sure, at some point in your life, you've heard people tell you that you can be anything that you aspire to be. If you dream big, stay determined and reach high, you can do it. And when I was younger, I really took this piece of advice to heart. The possibilities for a future career seemed endless. In fact, throughout the course of my 20 years on Earth, I jumped around a lot in terms of choosing what I wanted to do with my life.
So, my first dream job started with a desire to be Spider-woman. I was really obsessed with Spider-man and at that age, my parents jokingly told me to go for it. Then it transitioned into dentistry and yes, I realized that this was more realistic upon finding out that I couldn't actually shoot webs out of my wrists and climb walls. Sooner or later, I became disinterested in the fact that I'd have to look at people's teeth my entire life, so I focused on becoming a lawyer, an idea that both of my parents were in agreement with. But as I got older, I started to thoroughly realize my strengths and interests. I developed a love for words. In 8th grade, I won my school's spelling bee competition and from that point on, I realized I'm pretty good at this; maybe words are my thing. By the time I entered high school, I found myself becoming increasingly fond of writing. It was my ideal form of expression; it was an escape, so to speak, from reality. My favorite thing about writing is that I could, by the stroke of a pen, recreate a whole new world, full of exotic characters and outrageous rules. In fact, I could express anything I desired with writing. It produced a liberation that satisfied and appealed to me. So once again, I set my sights on a new career: journalism. I joined my high school's television morning show and became a daily anchor and writer. Finally, I thought to myself, a career that I am certain about. Then came college. Initially, I decided I wanted to declare myself as a journalism major, but then I began to think: Wouldn't it better if I picked a major or minor that complemented my journalism studies?
Being analytic as I am, I thought a lot about whether or not I should proceed with changing my major when it suddenly occurred to me: I should become an international studies major with a double minor in political science and journalism. To me it was a combination that felt right. In addition to being someone with a passion for writing and exploring, I was also always very curious in learning about different kinds of people, and the diverse cultures that existed in the world. I can say, with certainty, that my sudden, yet profound interest in international studies can be attributed to my dual identity as an American and as a Slovak. Even though I was born and raised in the United States, my mother comes from the former Czechoslovakia. Growing up, I've learned the Slovak language, visited the country, made meaningful friendships there and observed both Slovak and American traditions. Stemming from this, I became fascinated with learning about different peoples, cultures, languages, traditions, systems of rule and societies, since I, being born and raised in New York City and being an American and a Slovak, have been exposed to diversity for most of my life.
Stemming from my experiences, I've learned that life can take you in many different directions, and things are always bound to change. I have been able to explore many different interests of mine, but even when I was certain about what I wanted to do in life, that ultimately changed as I got older, met new people and became a part of a different environment. My experience shows that life is essentially a learning process full of expected twists and turns; if you think about it, this is what makes it so unpredictably fascinating. Even though at this point I don't think that I will change what I want to study and eventually do in my life, I have accepted that nothing in life is certain or guaranteed. My vision of my life can change at any point, but as long as I stick to what I know and love to do, I will be happy, and ultimately, that's the most important and rewarding thing that one can attain in life.