All over Facebook, people keep posting little facts about them, and, frankly, I don’t feel a need to post them on Facebook when I can share my little facts with greater detail.
1. I love quiet time at home.
Being away at a university requires you to be around people in your room, in your building, in your classes, and even in the library. Heck, it’s hard enough finding a time to go to the gym when it’s empty. When I have a good book or a clean sheet of paper with a drink by my side, I relax. My tension releases, my anxiety withers away, and I am calm. If I’m outside, the sound of the wind blowing and the smell of fresh grass ignite my senses, leaving me at peace.
2. I can spend hours in my town’s library.
Maybe it’s the way millions of books make you feel as though you’re not alone. Maybe it’s the way the sunlight dances through the vast windows, as if welcoming its inhabitants. Maybe the smell of books gives me a high of which I will never grow tired. This library is two stories and over 45,000 square feet of comfort, stability, and home.
3. When I was little, I always had to prove myself.
If you wonder what I mean, I definitely refer to the elementary school playground. When guys played basketball and tried showing off for girls, I got annoyed and always formed all-girl teams. This was when my feminist attitude formed. If you think I got competitive during recess, then gym class was a completely different playing field. Even though we had a gym teacher, he was simply there to make sure kids didn’t break their necks or lose limbs during their thirty minutes in his class. Everything was fair game and I wanted to be a part of every minute of the action.
4. Writing is the only aspect of my life which makes sense.
I don’t claim to be the next great American author, but writing makes life feel serene and it helps me calculate and sort through my thoughts. I can create dancing characters or I can create an account of my day’s events, but either way, I create a piece of work. Sometimes classes make me reach my breaking point and sometimes being at home raises my anxiety so when I am able to sit with my Mac or with a journal, life simply makes sense.
5. I want to help people.
Not in the way of joining the Peace Corps and dedicating my entire life to volunteer work, but I want to help in any way I can throughout my daily life. As a teacher, I will help students see the greater aspects of learning. Even though teaching will be a large commitment, I want to gain experience and help others in my life now and well into my dying years. I want to travel the world and show people the benefits of less is more. I want to help children read at the local library. I want to adopt another puppy. I want to share a smile with a stranger in the street. I want to buy food for the homeless man who stands in front of my local Wal-Mart. Some people have materialistic thoughts in their bucket lists, but I’d rather leave this earth with a full heart than a full closet.
What may people not know about you?
I came to Ball State as a Magazine Journalism major and then I changed my major to English Education.
In a sense, I went from Joanna Coles to Mr. Feeny.
Some ask, “What happened to your dreams of traveling, of seeing the world?” Well, my dreams still exist. They did not change because I simply changed my education on a piece of paper; however, my ideas of my profession did change. Slowly, I began to realize the world of journalism. The mindless reporting, the rules, rules, rules, and the lack of room for creativity, which began to suffocate me. The importance of only writing what sources said, without giving my own thoughts in the world of news reporting, began to strangle my brain when I tried to think of a life without writing about what I loved – travel, adventure, people, cultures, life experiences, failures, triumphs. I began finding it a struggle to get out of my bed in the morning for a class I was supposed to LOVE.
I did not love it, though. Maybe I never really loved journalism, but this I doubt. Perhaps, maybe, I loved the idea of journalism. Traveling, seeing the world, talking to people in different cultures, experiencing those cultures. I can still do everything I mentioned, but I do not need a degree for it. Whether or not I graduate with a degree in journalism does not change my affinity for adventure and writing. People, there is such a profession as freelance journalism. It DOES exist. I promise.
Now, on to my decision to change my major. As I said, I found it difficult to enjoy attending my journalism classes. I started to think something was wrong with me because journalism was my drive to leave my home and my hometown, and it was the reason I chose to attend Ball State over Indiana University. (Ahem, enter, David Letterman.) After I realized this wasn't true, I stopped making excuses and I changed my path. Taking charge of my own life and not relying on others to make my own rules for my life is one of my better sides. Anyway, I trekked to the career center and I began to pour over books with different professions, and they simply HAD to include writing or English involved in their college educations to even grasp my attention. Different ideas popped into my head, but publishing stood out in my mind.
As I thought about my future in the world of publishing, I loved the idea of possibly reading and editing books for a living, but then I could not picture myself living in a city, walking to work every day, and dressing to the nines every day of my life. Abiding by the rules of authority has never been my strong point so I did not want a job where I had to pretend to be perfect every day, with the chance of spending my early years as The Girl Who Gets the Coffee. Then my quest for a major continued. Eventually, I scheduled a meeting with a career adviser and I told her about my love for English, for writing, and my need to help people in whichever profession I choose to pursue.
After my meltdown and my explanation for my NEED to change my major, I found myself taking a personality test. Personalities always interested me so I thought, Why not? This could be fun. As it turned out, I have the INFJ personality type. This means I am introverted (I), I tend to use my intuition to focus on the big picture rather than the minor details in a problem (N), I focus more on how I feel about certain situations rather than the practicality of the situation or rather than others’ opinions (F), and I like to take control by planning and organizing as much as possible so I don’t fall into the hands of procrastination (J). What are some traits of this personality type? Apparently we are highly creative and artistic, we feel a need to help others, and we are very private.
Basically, if you know anything about me, then you probably assume this personality type was created for me. Hello, other one-percent of the population with this personality type. You are not alone!
Also, with this personality type, INFJs should be artists, librarians, photographers, writers, or . . . teachers. Surprise! I have a point in this madness so stick with me. Basically, after I took the personality quiz and soaked in everything it had to offer, and after I did my own research (“surprise”), the realization of my future hit me as though it was myself running after a breakfast buffet.
I need to teach. It isn’t a want, a desire, or even a will. It is a need.
If you talked to me about a year ago and told me I would become a teacher, I would probably:
2.) Not believe you
3.) Throw up
Trust me; this is not an exaggeration. When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher because I was bossy and I thought I could control everyone. Then I became more reserved, knew far too much about life at an early age, and found writing as an outlet – marking my daily events and keeping track of the monumental moments in my life prevented me from falling astray.
Even through all the countless sports teams, practices, extracurricular activities, and hours at work, I still fell back into writing. When my world became dark and nothing seemed to make sense, I picked up a pen and I wrote. I wrote everything – fictional tales of characters who experienced thrills and adventures, what I had on my mind, who I needed to forget, what I needed to forget, and why I needed to make a difference in others’ lives.
Throughout the writing and the countless hours I spent studying, reading, and working, life seemed lonely at times. I began to find my true friends, but I also experienced some dark times. It wasn’t easy, but I now use those experiences to push through and I dedicate my life to making myself better, as well as the lives of others.
With teaching, I can do this every day.
I can compliment a girl who lives in a broken home on her writing and I can make her smile.
I can schedule a conference with a boy who doesn’t do his work and I can find out about his internal struggles.
I can help children see the world in a different way.
I can show them the silver lining.
I can help children.
Lauren is a Ball State University alumna with a Bachelor's degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. She enjoys breakfast for dinner with a side of literary enjoyment.