Allison Thornton | Tuesday, April 28, 2020
When I was younger, the question of “what I wanted to be when I grew up” was always something I looked forward to answering. Because when I was six years old, the answer came so easily to me and I was excited to tell everyone. I wanted to become an archaeologist, who was also a photographer and trained to become an astronaut on the weekends.
All three of these jobs filled my love of Egyptian history, photography and, of course, the amazing idea of space exploration. I love that as kids our imagination would stretch way past the point of reality. Growing up, my sister wanted to be a veterinarian by day and a Broadway star by night. If only life were that simple.
We all have those thoughts of how easy it would be to go back and be a kid. We had no responsibilities and endless amounts of energy, not to mention the homework back then was definitely easier. Unfortunately, time and physics doesn’t allow us to travel back to the past and relive the memories we sometimes wish we could experience again.
As I got older, people would still ask that question, but as the years passed, I realized that the question was becoming a reality I wasn’t ready to face. Questions like, “What are you going to study in college?” or “What are you hoping to do with that degree after you graduate?” also haunted me while trying to think of my future.
When I first arrived at Saint Mary’s I was an intended physics and mechanical engineering major. After a year of STEM classes, I realized that the major wasn’t a good fit. When I made the decision to switch majors, I was worried that people would think I simply just gave up. But truth be told, it just wasn’t a good fit, and I had to tell myself that it wasn‘t the end of the world.
We all have dream jobs, and our life paths will all be different than we think as time goes on — they might even be completely different than we could ever imagine. The most important thing is that we are happy with what we are doing in life.
When I graduated from high school, I never imagined I would be an environmental studies and anthropology double major in college. My dream job is pretty similar to what it was when I was six years old, minus training to become an astronaut on the weekends. I guess my six-year-old self was on the right track, and I should have followed her when deciding on what to study in college a little earlier.
When I was abroad in Ireland at the beginning of this semester, we maintained this motto: “Everything works out at the end of day.” And honestly, it does. I have learned that if you work hard for what you want in life, everything will work out at the end of the day and you will be happy. That is all I have for now, thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.