When I first came to EKU, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to major in. In fact, if there is one thing I was certain that I didn’t want to do for the rest of my life, it was writing. Now it’s four years later and I’m completing my last semester as Journalism major.

Before coming to college, I hated writing because I am somewhat of a perfectionist and was always told that it would inhibit my abilities. It wasn’t until I took an entry-level English course at EKU that I finally realized my writing potential. Instead of telling me that my perfectionist tendencies were a problem, she helped me understand how I could use it to my benefit.

For a class assignment, we had to come up with a research topic. I chose to write mine on how the education system predisposes student successes and proved that the results translated to how musicians are labeled in the music industry. I spent countless hours conducting research and truly diving into writing the content. This was the first time I was ever excited about writing. Before long, I was writing on my own as a hobby, and eventually declared a major in journalism.

When I was a freshman, I didn’t understand why everyone made college out to be so stressful. I breezed through my general education courses, and maintained a 4.0 GPA. It wasn’t until I started my major courses, that I finally came to understand what so many students called “the struggle.”

From the moment I declared a major in journalism, I knew that my goal was to become a music journalist. I knew that my writing style and interests did not align with news reporting. Little did I know, one of the first entry-level courses to the major was Writing and Reporting News. Almost immediately after enrolling in the class, I was questioning my decision to declare this major. However, I gave it a shot and ended up falling in love with all aspects of journalism.

As I look back on the past four years, I realize that my approach with school has completely changed from my first semester to my last. As a freshman, getting straight A’s was all I cared about. Now, I realize that being a perfectionist is more limiting than liberating. I now know that setting high standards is important, but it’s more important to accept failures. I have learned that progress is more important than creating a masterpiece. Most importantly, I realized how important it is to be passionate about my work. Without having a great support system of educators, friends, family, and a genuine love for what I do, I wouldn’t have made it to where I am today.