When I was in fifth grade, I told my mother I wanted to be a full-time author when I grew up. Naturally, she understood job security better than I did and gently nudged me towards law because ‘lawyers write, too.’
I mean, she wasn’t necessarily wrong. As a nine year old who’d just watched Legally Blonde, I allowed myself to be swayed by the glabor and excitement that the movie seemed to portray.
As I grew older, I finally began to learn about a lawyer’s day to day. Naturally, I was disappointed. I wanted to write stories about battling dragons in some faraway land and finding a lost love in New York City.
In high school, I joined our Mock Trial team. In a way, learning how to write pretrial arguments and opening statements helped me strengthen my narrative building skills, but it cemented my belief that this was not the right path for me.
With that said, I owe it to Mock Trial for helping me overcome my intense fear of public speaking (in 8th grade, I got a C on a discussion because I was so dreadfully paralyzed by terror).
In my sophomore year, I found myself immersed back in the world of STEM, hellbent on becoming a environmental engineer. Until. I. Realized. That. Was. Also. Not. For. Me. What were my passions?
How do I combine my love for communities, for writing, for sustainability, for innovation?
I decided to give computer science a try.
It’s the fall of 2020 and I’ve begun my first quarter of college at UCLA, staring at my computer science professor’s screen as he types out C++ syntax in his Microsoft Word doc.
And I realize I still desperately miss the storytelling aspect that came with crafting a cohesive defense argument and with daydreaming my own stories onto paper.
Exploring product through companies and student organizations gave me exposure to software development, design, and strategy. It allowed me to interact with users, understand them, communicate their needs to a team, and build a solution—it’s the exact same logic that developing a narrative requires. It was truly the first time that I felt like my messy list of interests could finally fit together into a somewhat cohesive way.