Imagine being completely out of control. Your heart races harder with every passing moment; your mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions. On the inside, you feel like a hurricane, but everyone around you seems unaffected by the storm. Imagine being so afraid of your future—of never finding love, of being a disappointment—that you can’t breathe, can’t eat, can’t even sleep. This is what it feels like when you live with anxiety and depression. There are moments when it consumes you—when you feel like nothing but a walking disorder. This overwhelming terror has been a part of my life for a while now, and, although it is the most horrifying part of who I am, this illness gave me a gift—the gift of writing. When I’m out of control, I pick up the pen, and everything becomes clear.
There is a certain kind of therapy in writing. There is something beautiful in words that have the potential to live on forever. Writing has offered me an escape from my pain, and I know it is part of the reason I’m still breathing. Writing helped save me and continues to save me every day. I know that I not only want to write every day for the rest of my life but to also save the lives of others. Writing and journalism offers me that opportunity.
I want to make sure that people are heard. I want to give those who can’t advocate for themselves a voice: those who are illiterate, children who are trafficked or not given an education, and women who live in countries where they have no rights. There are so many people who have a story to tell but no way to tell it, and I yearn to be their pen and paper.
As a journalist, I want to travel the world and help those in need. I want to make a difference with my writing. I want to be the kind of journalist who not only provides the facts but also evokes emotion and brings forth change. Changing the world has been my typical response whenever anyone asks me what I want to do with my life, and journalism is how I plan to do it. I may not be a doctor who finds a cure for a life-threatening disease or a millionaire who starts an amazing, non-profit campaign, but words have profound power, too. Words can start a movement, an uprising; words can save people—heal people. I want to fight the war on inequality with words as my weapon.
I have goals that go far beyond the confines of not only this campus but also this country. I want to see everything. I want to meet as many people as possible and tell as many of those people’s stories as possible. I want to work for a news organization that prides itself on being non biased; I want to work for a company with integrity— a company whose goals go far beyond a political agenda and whose decision-making is not affected by the influence of its advertisers. If, by the time I’m out of college, an organization like this doesn’t exist, I’ll create it. I’ve never been one to have dreams that most would call realistic, but the people who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world are the only ones who do. Dreaming big is who I am. It’s in my bones, and I will do everything I can to keep improving. Being stagnant is my biggest fear in life, and the journalism industry is never standing still. Like I said, there is always a story to be told, and I want to be the one who tells it. I want to save people with my words the way words saved me.