I’ve always had a love for reading. As a child I was known for always having my nose in a book. In the first grade sitting on a carpet covered in the alphabet, I realized something pivotal: All of the books sitting in our library weren’t just words on a page, but stories sparked by passion. I instantly became fascinated by the idea that people like me created the stories I loved. Since then, I knew I wanted to become a writer.
Reading has always been a way for me to escape the world around me and get lost in someone else’s world. In middle school, instead of worrying about the grueling algebra test I had in sixth period, I was able to be fully absorbed in a cheesy romance novel.
The characters in the novels I read shaped who I am today. I wanted to be as smart as Hermione and as brave as Katniss. These strong female characters built the foundation of my personality with how down to earth and willing they were to sacrifice everything for those they loved.
Even inside the classroom, I love reading. Whenever I’m able to make a connection in a novel that no one thought of before, I have this indescribable joy. Every time I pick up a different novel, I tend to think of it more as a puzzle — one where I can find the author’s heart behind the writing. By extension, I learn more about myself while reading. I am inspired by the work put into creating novels, and because of that, I feel like I can see more of the author’s intentions.
The reading community is also one where I feel the most at home. In high school, I volunteered at local libraries shelving books during the summer. Just being in that space where there’s so much to take in helped ground me for the next school year. This is especially because I was surrounded by people who also loved reading just as much as I did. However, once college came around I felt my love for reading slipping away because of the hundreds of pages I had to read. As a remedy, I started a book Instagram and TikTok curated for fellow avid readers. I’m still posting and interacting with the community I found in the social media world even today.
Deciding to be an English major was a no-brainer for me. Ever since that moment in first grade when I found out I could become a writer, I knew what I wanted to be. I remember running home and telling my parents, “I want to write a book! I want to be an author!” Admittedly, I’m still scared of making this jump to what can be considered an unconventional career path. However, I know that if it’s something I’m truly passionate about, I won’t let anything stop me.
To the many books I’ve read over the years and the authors who’ve created them: Thank you. Thank you so much for changing me and my life for the better. For the future writers who may be reading this: Never let anyone say you can’t become a writer. You definitely can. I believe in you.