Editor's Note: Permanent Paths

I want to be a sign language interpreter.”

Like many students, I started college with a set path. I’d take my courses, get my sign language interpreting degree and spend the rest of my life working in the field that I had my heart set on since eighth grade.

I joined Reporter in January of my first year. I had always enjoyed writing and editing, but I never knew how much until this job. By the middle of my second semester, I had declared Journalism as a double major.

“I want to be a sign language interpreter and a journalist.”

In the fall of my second year, I took classes for both majors. But as the semester went on, my passion for journalism blossomed and my desire to interpret diminished. Days before spring semester started, my dad asked me if I was looking forward to my classes. I thought for a moment before realizing I honestly was not.  

Interpreting wasn’t the path for me. Despite feeling confident in my decision, I also felt like I was letting my younger self down. I wasn’t achieving the dreams and goals I had held onto for so long. Yet, I still moved forward, eager to start the next chapter as a full-time Journalism major.

“I want to be a journalist.”

Over the summer, I worked as an editorial intern for a digital health platform. I fell in love with the idea of specializing in health and medical journalism and started to think that’s where my career was heading. Little did I think that could change when I took up a new job this semester.

I work as a public speaking tutor, helping students with speech outlines, presentation practice and more. Knowing that in a short 30 minutes I’ve made an impact on the student-clients, I finish each session feeling fulfilled and eager for the next. Slowly, I’ve started to love working in communication as much as — if not more than — I love journalism. 

“I don’t know what I want to be.”

I used to think I had to have everything figured out in life. But I’ve recently realized that it’s okay to not know where I’m heading next, as long as where I end up makes me happy. Our paths are not permanent, nor do we ever stop building them.