Green adorns the familiar seats of Robinson Residential Dining hall. Green balloons gather on every corner, green garlands hang down from the ceiling, green icing for cookies nestles below the dessert line; it is a St. Patrick’s Day feast.
The students gathered for lunch sit at their tables. Long groups populating long ones, a handful of friends gathered around a booth, while those eating by themselves perch atop a high top or a small side table. Those that are without company eat fast, consuming their food while staring at a book or a phone.
The friends at the table laugh as they talk. Leaning in to listen, using hand gestures. A boy and a girl sat together at a booth, not close enough to be intimate but just close enough. They leaned in as the other spoke, using smaller gestures, never taking their eyes off the other.
More than once there was the flash of a phone to augment the conversations, showing off some format of media.
The dining hall is full of life.
By Caitlin McBride and Mackenzie Potter
Katy Kildee is a 20 year old native of Flushing, Michigan. Although she is a photojournalism major, if there’s one thing her life would not be complete without, it’s singing.
She sings with her friends and while alone, in the shower or in her car, at any time and any place she loves to sing. While she has no professional experience, music is a strong part of her life.
Her love of music started at a young age. Although she was not completely surrounded by music as a child, she remembers listening to the music of the Beatles, which was her father’s favorite band. At night, she would fall asleep to him singing Blackbird to her.
As she got older she began to explore other genres of music. Growing up, she listened to the radio on a daily basis. Going into high school, she admired the rebellious attitude of rock music and began to listen to more.
She continued to grow and a friend of her mother’s offered her a new opportunity: she gave her an old piano. Although the instrument was out of tune, Katy began to play with it. After a friend showed her a few simple songs, she started to develop skills on her own. She taught herself the chords to some of her favorite songs so she could sing along. Though she took lessons for a year, she found that the ‘proper’ way to play the piano was not the way she had taught herself. Rather than change her entire way of playing, Katy instead decided to continue on her own without lessons.
Today, Katy continues her connection with music through her love of song. As she said, “I love listening to music, but it’s just not complete until I sing.”
The actor Tom Hiddleston once said in an interview, “God laughs at our plans.” When people ask me what I want to do, my mind always turns to that quote.
The truth is that I have not honed in on one specific career because in reality, people change. I have been able to talk to many professionals across several fields, and it seems to me that the most successful never stay in the same place; they jump from job to job when opportunity knocks.
In high school, middle school, and even elementary school, the one question that was always asked was “what do you want to be when you grow up?” It was never really acceptable to say “I don’t know,” so even as a child the search for a career was on. By High School I had decided that my passion was for animals and that I wanted to be a veterinarian. I have certainly changed.
All through my school years teachers have noticed my writing skills, and while I always loved reading and writing, it just never seemed like a real career that I could actually pursue. It was just a hobby.
During my freshman year of high school, my English teacher, Mrs. Rausch had noticed my skills. She encouraged me to pursue writing and even told me that I would be good as a Supreme Court Judge. At the time, I did not listen because I still intended to go to veterinary school. However, by the end of my sophomore year, I began to realize she was right. I had taken Chemistry and realized that although I still had straight A’s, I really struggled with science and did not enjoy it. I could not imagine studying that for eight years in college.
So I took a step back and looked at the classes I had naturally been drawn to.
At the beginning of my sophomore year, my English teacher collaborated with the publications teacher at my school, Mrs. Bunka and the two tag-teamed me to join as a member of the yearbook staff. That one decision has changed my life forever.
Yearbook became my hobby, my passion, and my home. As one of the top three books in the nation, the work we did was near professional quality and multi award winning. I started as a writer and absolutely loved it. The next year I worked my way up to being an editor and my final year I became editor in chief of the book. I worked at least 15 hours a week every week on the publication, I travelled to Lansing, Minneapolis, and New York for workshops and awards, I made the publication the best it could be. I won several national and state awards and even received the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association’s Student Journalist of the Year award, meaning I was the top high school journalist in the state.
My experience in high school showed me that writing was my passion, and that the place where you really belong, you might not even know exists. I take this philosophy to heart with me as I pursue my undergraduate degree. I know that I love writing, so I will pursue that along with whatever other things spark my interest. I have looked at internship programs and study abroad as well.
In short, I do not have a straight path I am aiming for. My goal is to make myself as diverse as possible. I will pursue whatever interests me and try and see where opportunity takes me. I know there are hundreds of jobs out there I would love, and hundreds more that I do not even know about yet. After all, opportunity is not really something you can pinpoint, you have to wait for it to knock before you can answer.