"Don't follow your dreams; chase them." --Richard Dumb
This quote essentially defines how I live my life. I have dreams, and I work hard to try to make them come true. One of my dreams was to come to Stanford; thankfully, my hard work paid off and I am proud to be a student here.
Growing up, my mom kept a journal for me, and every year on my birthday, she asked me a series of questions, mostly "What's your favorite ___?" and always ending with "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I was recently looking through it, wondering when she started asking me these questions. It was on my 9th birthday. And my answer, on my 9th birthday, to that question of what I want to be was "Astronaut, teacher, gymnast, scientist." I cracked up, because that's nearly identical to my answer to that question today. Replace "scientist" with "engineer" (I don't think I really knew what an engineer was back then), and add "coach" to "gymnast", and you've literally got what I want to do with my life today!
As you may have read on my About Me! page, my dream job is to be an astronaut. This is a dream I have had since first grade, have been working toward since then, and plan to continue working towards for the forseeable future. However, I also realize how unlikely it is that I will made it there (not that it's going to stop me from trying!). My other dream job would be to work on robotic spacecraft, like probes and rovers that go to other planets (if I can't go, I may as well work on something that can!). But the other thing I've long thought about doing with my life is being a science teacher. And that's something I plan on doing at some point in my life. I love to teach kids, and get them excited about science! I know the difference a great teacher can make in terms of a kid sticking with a subject, and I'd like to be one of those teachers that really makes a difference. Really, I would just like to put my skills to good use, whether that be my technical engineering skills, or my interpersonal skills with kids.
I also plan to mentor FIRST robotics teams. I would love to be able to be involved at both the middle school and high school levels, starting and mentoring teams and volunteering at competitions. I also want to become a gymnastics coach, so that will always be part of my life. I had so many great robotics mentors and gymnastics coaches, and I want to be like them and give back and hopefully help someone the same way that I was helped.
I would like to have a family someday, but if I have kids, I want to adopt them. There are so many children who need a home, and I figure if I'm willing to have them, I should give the loving home to those who need it.
I will also continue to learn and find new hobbies. I'm fairly convinced I'll be one of those people who never retires because I would just not know what to do with myself. And who knows, maybe my life path will end up completely different!