I was never one of those kids who didn’t know what they wanted to do with their life. I always had a plan. I had a plan to the point that my teachers would give me confused looks when I was able to tell them what college I wanted to attend and what I wanted to do before I graduated elementary school. A part of this was because I was the daughter of an engineer and a teacher. I valued education, and I thought having a job was the coolest thing an adult could do. But until I was a junior in high school, I never wanted to be a Communications Major. I wanted to be a teacher, a CSI, a librarian, or a writer. However, now that I am a Laughlin resident and can look back, I realize that my childhood interests set me up for this. Even if I didn’t know it, I was always going to be a comm major.
Just like any early 2000’s kid, I loved Scooby-Doo and the Ninja Turtles. My favorite characters, respectively, were Velma Dinkley and April O’Neil. I loved how they could stop bad guys by just reading and asking questions and telling people what they had learned. I idolized their intelligence. I remember playing reporter with my cousins and walking around my house with broken 3D glasses pretending I was Velma solving mysteries.
When I got older, my fascination with investigation and sharing knowledge grew when I started reading the Nancy Drew books series. I adored those books. Nancy could solve the most puzzling mysteries, all while staying poised and having perfect hair. For a solid year, I read exclusively Nancy Drew books. I thought for a while that I could be detective like Nancy. However, I had and still have the weakest stomach known to man and would probably vomit at any crime scene I visited.
During my Nancy Drew obsession, I started reading another book series featuring a brave mouse named Geronimo Stilton. Geronimo was cool, but I thought his sister in the books was fascinating. This little mouse in a children’s book was an investigative reporter. Her name was Thea Stilton, and she rode a motorcycle from interviews to crime scenes to her office at a big city newspaper. When I got a little older and Thea had her own series, I would read those books in one sitting. I loved how she and her university students could go anywhere they wanted, solve problems, report their findings, and change lives.
Throughout my childhood, there were many other things I did and obsessed over that pushed me into majoring in communications. My father and grandfather worked in radio, so for three years, I had my own radio show. I told jokes, queued up music, reported the weather, and lined up news and ads for our listeners. It was addictive, and I spent many summers at the station, working and talking on air.
There were smaller incidents that shaped me for communications, too. In fifth grade, I dressed up as a TV reporter and recorded myself delivering a class project like it was breaking news. My favorite childhood doll was an American Girl Doll named Kit Kitteridge, who was a kid reporter during the Great Depression. My first job was working as a media assistant in my high school’s library. I helped students with research, their computers, and finding books; and I felt like Barbara Gordon working on a case before fighting crime as Batgirl.
All the while, I continued to love writing and asking questions. I wanted to connect with people. I wanted to figure out what people thought and why they did the things they did. When I met a Berry College Alumnus at my high school, we immediately clicked, as attending Berry has been my goal since I was in the third grade. I told her that I did not want to be a teacher like my mother, and I was too squeamish for anything involving medicine or crime. I wanted to write, and I wanted to ask questions and I wanted to be with people. She introduced me to communications, and now I’m here.
As I write this, I know that I’m blessed to be able to look back and know that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. No matter what job or career path I have as an adult, I know that I’m doing what little me would have loved. I get paid to sit students down and ask them questions and write about what they tell me. It’s a curious girl’s dream! I’m becoming the characters I idolized, and I’m happy about that. It’s good to do what you love, especially when you look back and realize that you’ve always loved it.