“What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?”

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Jennifer Smith
English 111
February 16, 2011
Essay One - Revised

“What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?”

We are usually asked this question very early in life: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s one of the biggest questions asked of children, from toddlers to teenagers. It’s always asked to help encourage kids to think of their future. After all, how many children really know what they want to do with the rest of their lives? Oh yeah, there are those lucky few who have a special calling. Many kids will say they want to be a police officer, firefighter, nurse, teacher, and many other professions. Some know exactly what they want to be from the start and go for it. But how many of us as adults, when faced with the same question today, know exactly what we want to do for the rest of our lives?

I’ve had my share of dreams. I can remember when I was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The first thing that came to my mind was a doctor. I didn’t know at my age about all the different specialties there were. Instead, all I knew was, I wanted to be a doctor and cure people. Unfortunately, as I grew up, I came to realize the schooling and everything else that came along with pursuing my dream. No one ever mentioned the hard work or how long it actually takes to become a doctor. All I heard was, “You can become whatever you want.”

During my senior year in high school, I tried to decide whether or not to go to college. To be honest, I hated school, and the thought of another two to four years in college really irritated me. The summer after I graduated, I went on a Youth On Missions trip to South Africa. I was among sixty teenagers from Florida, Michigan, and California. During this time, I realized that sometime in my life, I wanted to go overseas and do more mission work. It felt good knowing that I was offering some hope to people when they had none. After I came back from my mission’s trip, I decided to enroll in Indiana Bible College. While I was there, I couldn’t find my niche of education. It was great for music, learning about the bible, and meeting great people. But after a year and half, I felt it was time for me to move on and find a job.

After I left Indiana Bible College, I did the whole random job thing. I was a nanny, worked in a shoe store, a grocery store, and finally a hotel. When I started working in the hotel industry, I found that I absolutely loved it! I loved going to work knowing each day was going to be different. I met people from all walks of life; from the business man to the trucker and even to the traveling family who were just seeing what the road had in store for them before them. Through their eyes, I saw adventure, hopes, and dreams, and even the rare humorous occasion where I found myself shaking my head and saying, “What in the world?!?”

During my time working at the Days Inn & Suites, my manager encouraged me to go back to school and consider majoring in hotel management. So, that’s what I did. I went back to school and decided to go for Business Administration. During that time, I was going to do Hotel Management but then I realized that it would limit me to one occupation of hotels or resorts. Then I started thinking, why not go for Human Resources? I could literally get a job in any business with a HR Department. I thought to myself, “Yeah!! Way to use your brain Jen!!”

However, the story doesn’t end happily there. I was working full-time and going to school part time. I had no time to study, so I decided I wouldn’t go back to college in the fall. My manager decided that she would train me for her job because she was leaving as soon as the hotel was bought by another owner. I had the knowledge and expertise, but no degree. Since I had no degree, the owners of the hotel decided I wasn’t qualified enough. That was a very sad day for me. I then realized how important it is for education. People always say, “You don’t need college! You’ve got the...
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