I want to be a good writer, which seems like a simple task, but it entails more than I ever could have imagined. According to my professors, a good writer is an explorer. She is curious about the world and is definitely not hesitant to travel around it.
As a child, I never knew what I wanted to do with my life. I went to school in Queens, where all of my friends came from different backgrounds, so I was exposed to a variety of cultures. It always intrigued me that so many different types of people could all congregate into one community, and I wondered if it was like that anywhere else in the world. I always asked my Hispanic and Arab and Asian friends to tell me about their cultures. They told me about their holidays and how they celebrated them and what kind of methods they used to mend illnesses. I found out a lot about these cultures, but I never got to experience them for myself. I was accepting of this defeat, though, so I immersed myself in social studies, which was probably my best subject throughout high school. And yet, I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
All of my friends wanted to be teachers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, sports players—all these generic careers that I never really found any interest in. After all, I wasn’t particularly good at anything that had to do with math or science, and I definitely wasn’t into sports. However, from a young age, I always kept a journal and wrote about everything that sparked my interest. My parents must have been the same way since they took me and my sisters on vacation with them twice a year. It was almost as if they were searching for something, but they didn't exactly know what it was. We traveled to places like Greece, Cyprus, the Bahamas, England, Spain, Canada, and all across the east coast of the United States, but I always wanted to see more of the world. I remember writing about what I imagined countries I’d never visited would be like.
When it was time to apply to colleges, I decided that I needed to pick a career that focused on writing, so I chose to major in journalism, although I didn’t really know what being a journalist entailed. Today, as a second-semester freshman, I’m happy I chose it. I know it might be a bit early to tell that this is what I want to pursue for the rest of my life, but my studies helped me realize that a good journalist—or at least a good writer—is everything I want to be. A good journalist is someone who is curious and outgoing. A good journalist is willing to travel the world to find out more about people and learn as much as possible, and that’s what I’ve always wanted to do. A good journalist is comfortable with being uncomfortable, and that’s what I aspire to be.