Finding the words


Vincent Mecca sits on the stairs in the PAC.

Vincent Mecca, Opinion Co-Editor

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

That has been the million dollar question asked of me ever since I can remember. I always recall struggling to find an answer. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Sometimes I felt like I had missed the career train when my peers would blurt out an extensive blueprint of their life plans, seemingly having it all figured out. That was a little disheartening.

My family told me to find something I love to do, so that it wouldn’t seem like work. It sounds easy enough, but I enjoy a lot of things, and actually finding where those interests overlapped with a job seemed impossible. “Where do I go to get a job being a video game reviewer? Do you even go to college for that,” I asked myself throughout middle school, as I had been an avid gamer.

Questions I had no idea how to go about answering popped into my mind time and time again. Until I woke up, and it was my high school graduation day.

At this point, I had zero ideas about what I wanted to do with my life, and where I wanted to go to college. I initially applied to schools where I had done little research about their program offerings because I was just lost about where I wanted to end up in the future.

I tried to remember one thing though, something I had always told myself. “Be good at everything you do, and you’ll be fine.” If I don’t know something—“I’ll learn it.” If I can’t do something—“I’ll learn to do it, and do it well.” And that’s where my final dilemma in college spawned; What do I major in?

In high school and into my college career, I had done well in every aspect but one: public speaking and presentations. I wanted to throw up when I had to get in front of a group of people and speak. My throat would go dry and my voice would fluctuate horribly. It was something that, although I practiced in a mirror and seemed to improve, I could never grasp and follow that something I told myself to do, to “learn to do it.”

At this point, I didn’t know where to go from here. If I couldn’t even talk to someone how would I ever be successful? I was too scared to even think about it for a while.

In the end, I made a surprising decision to both combat my weakness and follow my enjoyment of writing by majoring in communication arts.

This was going to be how I “learned to do it.” One of the most important things you can learn to do is to learn how to speak.

Fast forward to my senior year. Do I still get nervous when I have to give presentations? Sometimes. I am far from perfect at speaking what’s on my mind and conveying my thoughts, but I have improved from where I was, and that’s something I am proud of myself for.

And hey, I haven’t thrown up yet!