When I started at UF, I didn’t know what I was going to major in.
That makes it sound like I was undecided my whole life, but that’s not the case.
From the time I started kindergarten to the time I was a junior in high school, I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. I was so excited about this that I would force my brothers to play school with me (even though they hated it) and took all of the early childhood courses in high school.
But halfway through high school, I decided it wasn’t for me, and then I just felt stuck. My whole life I had had a plan, and I’m the kind of person who always has a plan, but after that, I really had no idea what I was going to do.
I felt like I had no direction, and I hated that.
This first made applying to colleges even more stressful, then choosing classes really difficult.
I tried to only take core classes that were required regardless of major, because I was scared of wasting money, and although that was fiscally smart, it meant I wasn’t able to take different classes that would help guide me in a direction.
When it came time to choose a major, I was in between accounting and pharmacy, two things that people had told me I would be good at and seemed somewhat interesting to me.
I was leaning more towards accounting, so I took a class the summer after my freshman year. I was good at it and enjoyed it, so I decided to stick with that.
I never felt excited about my choice or passionate about accounting, but I was relieved that I finally had a major.
It wasn’t until after I had my strokes that I realized accounting wasn’t for me.
The accounting program at UF is really difficult, and before I got sick, I was ready for the challenge, but after, it didn’t seem worth it.
It was going to be even more difficult for me since I still have trouble with numbers. I knew that if I worked hard, I could still be a good accountant, but I would never be great, and I didn’t want to pursue something I would never be very accomplished in.
In the hospital, I began to re-prioritize my life and future goals. As cheesy as it sounds, I finally began to understand that life is short and that there was no reason not to pursue my passion. So at some point in my stay at the Shepherd Center, I decided to change my major to Sports Management.
I didn’t really start to consider a career in sports until after my strokes; I had thought about it in high school, but never seriously, I didn’t think I had the personality for it and didn’t think I could succeed.
However, when I attended the Tim Tebow Foundation Gala in March 2019 I realized that maybe a career in sports was for me, and that’s when I changed my mindset and began to actively pursue the field.
At the gala, I had the honor of interviewing sports celebrities such as Urban Meyer, Doug Flutie, Danny Wuerffel and more on the red carpet, along with the cast from Duck Dynasty and a few musicians.
I was able to kind of flip a switch and become more outgoing and bubbly in order to get the job done, and I loved it. It was one of the coolest experiences and I’m so thankful for the connections that I made, the practice that I got, and the confidence and determination it instilled in me.
When I made the decision to switch to Sports Management, I didn’t really know what that meant. I didn’t get a good understanding of the industry of sports management and the careers within the field until this semester.
Since getting into the classes in my major, I’ve learned of so many more opportunities in the sports industry. I’m still interested in sports broadcasting, but now I’m also looking at sports information and being more and more drawn in that direction.
A Sports Information Director serves as the liaison between the team and the media, kind of the best of both worlds in my mind, so I’ve begun to explore that area more and see what I can get involved in.
This semester, I’ve been able to interview a few of the Florida gymnasts to write features on them, and they were just published in the program of the biggest home meet of the season!
I know that being at UF will allow me to explore my interests and find the right fit for me, and I’m excited to get even more involved and find my path.
I feel like I’ve finally found my calling and I am so thankful for that. I’m really excited to see where I will continue to go as I finish my undergrad, and so thankful for all the support and mentors that I have here who are helping me succeed!