When you’re growing up, adults always ask you “what do you want to be when you grow up?” as if at 4 or 5 years old we have any clue at all. You want to be unicorns or dragons or wizards or mermaids – at that age the importance isn’t quite understood, but it’s a question that continues all the way into higher education. I’ve only recently finally managed to answer the question myself.
Throughout my life, I’ve been adamant that I will be this or will be that, but in fact, my life took a huge turn (for the better, thankfully) and I ended up on the path to computer science and software engineering. I’m glad, of course, that I’m now settled with the idea that this is what my future holds, but I’ve had so many aspirations and dreams that it’s hard not to look back on them fondly.
“When I grow up” I wanted to be a:
- Vet: Most animal lovers adore the idea of looking after animals all day, especially as a child. I imagined people bringing their cats and dogs in with little coughs, I’d give them medicine and play with them, and then they’re go home. Like a game. When you’re a child, the reality of being a vet hasn’t yet ruined the dream for you. It’s not all baby bunnies and kittens, sadly. This dream left me when I understood that animals died there (sob), and I’m a little squeamish of other’s blood.
- Teacher: From primary school all the way up until the last year of college, I was sure I wanted to teach. I’ve wanted to teach lots of subjects, but always magnetised back to teaching English. I changed my mind ultra last minute when I choose the course I wanted to study at university. It was a coin throw between English (be a teacher) and Computer Science (be anything I want, or so it felt). I made my choice, and I’m happy with it.
- Farmer: This pops up quite regularly still to this day. The idea of living in the countryside, with my animals and my crops and my pets has always appealed to me. I know farming isn’t an easy job, but it’s something I’d have loved to be born into. If I ever happened across a lot of money in my life, I’d love to buy a smallholding or a ‘hobby farm’. Not for profit, but for the freedom of ‘grow your own’. Fruit and veg from your back garden, eggs from your chickens, milk from your cows. That’s the life.
- Author: Writing is a huge passion of mine. I’m that one person in a group project who would love to sit and write all the reports. I’m the one who doesn’t mind writing up all those notes from this mornings meeting. It doesn’t matter what I’m writing – a blog post, a poem, a story, a report, test scripts, code – I’m happy to see the words come together. Being an author appealed to me hugely in school but now I have my blog, and that’s enough for me right now!
- Lawyer (specifically for the forces, for no particular reason): In my final year of school I attended an opening evening for college, and the entire evening I spent lingering around the colleges that offered law. Then it clicked in my head (very randomly) that the armed forces stall in the corner could tell me some information about joining them as a law student. For weeks I was sure this is what I wanted to do. Looking back, it baffles me. Law, sure, but why I suddenly had an interest in the army is a mystery to me.
- Photographer: I studied photography at college and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I found a bone deep passion, and I doubt it will ever leave me. I studied my ‘proper’ subjects alongside too, but photography was my escape. I could step into the red room or the studio and all my troubles would be lifted. Because I’m a workaholic, I’d stay up for hours and hours taking, editing, printing, cutting, backing all of my photographs before writing about each of them aiming to achieve the highest possible mark I could (which I did). If you care enough, it’s a very time consuming and mentally exhausting course, and of course I cared. My photography sketch books were pristine, and I was proud of every single piece of work I produced. I also met Matt in my first ever photography class, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. I would have loved to be a photographer, but I was always too worried about job prospects.
I’m still passionate for a lot of the dreams I had as a child and throughout my education, but for now they can all wait in the sideline as hobbies. Even though I seem to have my future and my career figured out, nobody knows what the future holds! We can only wait and see!