Freshman year of college I came to WashU, like most of us, as a pre-med kid majoring in biology. This life path lasted about a week after the add/drop period before I realized with horror that med school was definitely not my destiny. While in the midst of I scouting out extracurriculars I might enjoy in order to counteract the soul-crushing world of physics, I discovered an issue of Spires Intercollegiate Literary and Arts Magazine sitting on the desk of a friend. I soon started (occasionally) attending the weekly meetings, since I had always really enjoyed literature.
With the dawn of sophomore year, I fully realized that my interests resided in literature and culture studies, and went on to declare my majors in English Literature and American Culture Studies. As I discovered that my main interests were at the intersection of these disciplines, I sought out endless culture-based literature classes and literature-based culture classes (in what effectively has become two of the same major).
In the time since freshman year, before I yet knew my literature hobby was going to become a full-on endeavor (in the form of my English major, an internship in publishing, and a post-grad career search in editorial work), I became more and more involved in student-run publications, slowly infiltrating other magazines until Spires and Simple Syrup Food and Culture Magazine became my main non-academic focuses at WashU. I love such editorial work, because bringing together and watching as student perspectives on cultural and personal topics that matter to them come together in a collection of thematic work is a wonderful thing to see. It is through these hobbies and passions that I have been able to encounter culture studies in the everyday, and to find my life passions. What I’ve learned over the years, as cheesy as it sounds, is to follow your interests, even in small ways, because you never know when a casual hobby will turn into a career.