Age doesn't always bring answers

I used to think that when I got older, I would have more answers - to who I am, who I want to be, and just to life in general.

Well, now that I am older, I can see that sentiment isn't entirely true.

When I was a kid, I always knew what I wanted to do. I loved to read and I loved to write, so it made sense that I would go to school for journalism and study to become the best writer I could be. I was always told that writing was my talent, and I knew that you're supposed to follow your talents. So that's what I did.

Now that I'm in college, everything isn't so black and white. My first semester of journalism classes wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. There was a lot more AP style, fact checking and deadlines than there was writing about the things I care about and believe in.

I started to panic as the reality of what a career in journalism would mean: long hours, little pay and a long climb to the top. I contemplated a career switch and debated law school. I started thinking about which job would pay the most money and what could give me the best life. I felt my priorities switch from passion to prices, from dreams to decisions. When people would ask me what my career goal was, I no longer really knew.

It's hard not to feel like the older I get, the less sure I am of things. In some ways, I feel like I was closer to who I wanted to be when I was in high school than I am now. I think more, worry more and doubt more, but I dream less. I have less faith. I am simultaneously finding myself and losing myself, and then trying to find myself again. I guess that's part of growing up. I guess that's just life.

But I have to stop thinking that way. I'm far too young to be so worried and far too young to lose sight of my childhood dreams. And I've decided this semester to implement that mindset into the rest of my time at the University of Georgia.

Now I'm working for The Red & Black, the newspaper at UGA. I am taking video journalism and will study travel writing in Prague this summer. I am committing to journalism, refusing to give up on the passion I have for writing, for telling stories and for making people feel something. Writing is what makes me feel the most me, and that's the feeling I'm chasing.

And I know I'll find my dream career - when I grow up.

- Katie Hughes of Hinsdale, a junior at the University of Georgia, is a contributing columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected].