Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
I always thought that for people to understand the world around them, they should experience it. Despite growing up in the seventh largest city in the U.S., my parents kept a pretty tight leash on my brothers and me. Though they were overprotective, I always found a way to get outside the little box they seemed to keep us in.
One of those moments was when I was 21 and decided to travel to Boston, Chicago and New York City in one week by myself.
I told my parents I was only going to visit universities that would benefit my future. That was an excuse. I was really there for the adventure. Each city had its own culture; the people walked with a purpose, and each day, I routinely thought about how different I was from them. Sure, I was a student, and I knew I had a meaningful life, but I never felt so little.
Even though San Antono is heavily populated, it sometimes seems like a ghost town to me, especially at night. Before I visited these cities, I had never been outside of Texas. The experience was life-changing. I weaved my way in and out of airports and subways and met so many people, including a Sports Illustrated reporter in the airport on my way home who once covered the Olympic games. He told me to keep up the great work in school. He encouraged me to keep in contact and not be afraid to ask him for support I may need.
If I never stepped outside the box, or Texas, I would not have received the reinforcing encouragement from writers and advisers I met in those three cities.
Sitting on the sidelines is definitely difficult, but it is something I am learning to handle. I am a person who loves to do. I am figuring out that when I step away from an experience, I am truly able to appreciate it.
When I finally realized that, I decided to become a reporter to have the opportunity to step back and record the impact of lives at hand. I am able to share those things in a skillful manner and bring the experience to life for the reader. I, too, have experienced so much, from the other side of the nation to things in my own backyard; it is time I get to tell the story.