The Story Behind My English Major

Although my military upbringing has made my childhood more unstable than most, there is one thing that has always been constant in my life. I have always loved expressing my deepest emotions by writing them out on paper.

Throughout the course of my elementary and middle school years, I could always be found reading. It was my way of briefly escaping my own emotions and throwing myself into the life of someone else. Commonly, my love of reading translated into my discovery that I too could string together beautiful words to unlock the stories in my head. I vividly remember the hours that I would spend at my computer desk, crafting a multitude of short stories and poems for my own entertainment. My work had plenty of variety, ranging from the adventures of mythological creatures in the modern world to a modern retelling of the Nativity scene.

Open books with bent pages all sprawled across one another Patrick Tomasso

One of my consistent goals throughout my life has been to share my creations with others. Although I ended up losing the majority of the writing competitions that I applied for, I enjoyed the fact that I was constantly kept busy and improving my skills. In seventh grade, my hard work was finally rewarded when an article that I wrote was published in a children’s magazine. The euphoria that I felt seeing my name in print for the first time is absolutely indescribable.

However, my feelings about writing shifted once I reached high school. The constant onslaught of essays and research papers made me no longer view writing as my favorite hobby, but as an intolerable chore. I started to become more insecure about the work that I put out and compared it to that of those around me. It wasn’t until I was paid for a poem that I wrote for an online journal that I truly began to see writing as a viable career for me. However, the thought absolutely terrified me because I wasn’t sure if I could live up to my own high expectations.

African American woman writing at a table with a cup of tea beside her Kat Stokes

I came into college as an Exploratory major, unsure of what direction to take when it came to my future. When I heard of Her Campus during my fall semester, I immediately wanted to be a part of the organization. It sounded like something out of my wildest dreams—a supportive group of intellectual and diverse women who were all passionate about the written word. When I found out that my application had been accepted, I was absolutely shocked. I almost hadn’t applied because I felt as though my words might not be valuable enough to be noticed or appreciated. This changed my entire mindset about my own writing ability and made me feel a sense of confidence that I had not felt in years. After attending the first Her Campus meeting, I made plans to switch my major from Exploratory to Editing, Writing, and Media.

I feel as though my younger self would be very proud of me for following the path that I have always desired to be on. Although it can be difficult to allow myself the freedom to actively visualize my biggest dreams, I know that as long as I have my pen and paper, I will be just fine.

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