I am not going to pretend that I always knew writing would be my career choice. Like any child I went through my fair share of career choices: painter, professional soccer player, chef, environmental scientist, marine biologist, singer, dancer, actor -- you name it, I probably contemplated it.
But writing and reading have always been consistent and significant parts of my life. In elementary school I would breeze through summer reading lists and return in the fall having read one-hundred plus books, eager to discuss each and every one of them with my classmates and teacher. I was--and still am--a huge book nerd.
Now where would you imagine such a person going to college? NYU? Maybe Emory? Columbia possibly? If not Ivy League, maybe a small liberal arts college? Nope. I chose the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). Other colleges enticed me with their glossy catalogs, diverse student bodies and catchy slogans, but SCAD won me over with its authenticity and focus on creativity and opportunity.
I wrote my first collection of short stories at about seven or eight years old in collaboration with my older sister, who--via Microsoft animations--illustrated the stories. Although creative writing was a passion I didn't even know I had, up until my ninth-grade English class. My teacher, Ms. Sara Fuchs, crafted an amazing poetry unit and introduced me to female authors and poets, giving me more freedom than ever allowed to express myself through writing. I felt empowered, enriched and enamored. Creative writing became my everything.
Transition to my senior year and picture me sitting in my counselor's office, discussing the pros and cons of each college. We spent an hour going over everything, adding new colleges to my list of possibilities and subtracting the ones that did not fit, but SCAD was always there. I never had anything bad to say about it -- the only con being that I wouldn't be majoring in Creative Writing but in Writing. I didn't care though, as long as I could write I was happy.
Summer of 2016 and I am a little more than halfway through my college career, anticipated to graduate Fall of 2017 and I could not be happier with my decision. Now don't get me wrong here, I still get weird looks when I tell people that major is writing or that I can't draw or paint or illustrate but that I actually came all the way here to write.
I was filled with a lot of self-doubt in my freshman year. My foundation classes consisted mainly of drawing and painting and in those subjects, I didn't know my head from my backside. In visual art, I am so outside of my element. But I powered through my classes and began taking the stunning works of art that my artistic friends were creating as motivation and inspiration, instead of my drowning myself in self-deprecation as I had done before.
SCAD was the right decision for me because I can't imagine being anywhere else but in a place where I would be surrounded by art and artists and the immense amount of creativity that it holds. Art is everything to me. There is nothing more comforting and fulfilling than creative expression. And at SCAD I write, I share, I inspire, I learn, I grow and contribute to a student body that is ever-evolving and creating, always collaborating and inspiring one another to do more, better, bigger and different than ever before done.
At SCAD--this quirky and blossoming, obscure college--I have found a home to allow my writing to take new forms, expand and for me to discover what kind of writer I want to be. I could not be surer of my decision.