During my freshman year of high school, I remember being placed in an English I class. At this point in my life, I despised English. Anything reading or writing, I ran in the other direction. Hated it. The next year, I thought I would challenge myself and try out Honors English II, and I hated that, too. We read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and I can recollect thinking the plot was interesting, although I needed someone to explain it to me because I had a hard time reading such old English, I was warming up to the idea of reading, I guess.
It wasn’t until the summer before my junior year of high school, that I rode my mom’s pink beach cruiser down the trial to the public library. I had a list of summer reading books to choose from, and the library didn’t have my first pick, or my second one. I had gotten stuck with Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The librarian handed it to me thinking it would be something I was interested in. I didn’t particularly want to read it but I figured “what the heck” and said yes. I regret to inform you that my lack of enthusiasm had encouraged me to put off reading it all summer, but honestly, I think that would have happened with any book. However, I don’t believe just any book, even the ones that were at the top of my list would have captivated me as much as Frankenstein’s creation. I know people always say they couldn’t put it down, but I had to read the whole thing in one go, so I didn’t sleep until exhaustion swallowed me whole. I remember writing the best essay I had ever written up to that point on it.
Junior year, 2017, I took Honors English III with a teacher that I still talk to today, as she has inspired me to pursue the same profession. I fell in love with reading the words on a page written 5 years ago, 50 years ago, a century ago and falling into another reality. In one summer, I went from reading things because I had to read them, to wanting to do nothing else and all by chance that the public library down the street had nothing but a novel written 200 years ago.
In a way, this all speaks to something much bigger than just my own experience. I didn’t want to read Frankenstein of all books but reading it, I truly believe, has altered the proceedings of my life for now teaching the things I have learned from books has become what I am at Florida State for. We will spend 4 years here and have so many opportunities to try new things, join clubs, play sports, meet new people, and have new experiences that will change the course of our lives and in the process; we could all find what we are passionate about. These could be things we do as hobbies, or what we devote the rest of our lives to. Say yes to things even if you think you might not like them.
P.S. this is also how I discovered I cannot live without ketchup.