My mom really wants me to be a forensic scientist; she wants her daughter to help solve the crimes she learns about on Netflix true crime documentaries. Yet, I, to her silent dismay, prefer to help living people. More specifically, I want to help people around the world. During my junior year, I let this guide me in deciding what I want to pursue once I graduate high school. Toward the middle of that year, I narrowed my dream major down to International Relations. This may sound cliche, but that was when I found my purpose.
Though I do want to impact the world, I must admit that my decision was also fueled by my selfish ambitions to travel the world. Both of my parents are immigrants, and I have visited my father’s home country, Portugal, numerous times. My mother is from Mozambique, an African country that has remained a mystery to me all these years. I have unbreakable ties to these countries and they are part of who I am. During these last few years, I have felt this global pull that has created a desire in me to explore the world and its many different peoples. While I was brainstorming my future, I realized I needed to do something that exposed me to different cultures and people. More importantly, I wanted to be immersed in these cultures. Naturally, I considered such jobs as flight attendant or even photographer, but I landed on a diplomat pretty randomly, and I have stuck by it ever since! Becoming a diplomat—an official that represents their country abroad and to other cultures—is a rigorous process and requires much studying and application, but I feel that it is my calling.
Visiting Washington, DC, last summer actually cemented my decision though. While there, I fell in love with the city as well as the people and knew immediately that DC was where I wanted to be. I was fascinated by the important buildings that house important people who work on important issues that affect not only me but everyone around me. I knew I wanted to be a part of this. I also had the opportunity to speak to many current students who were in my shoes not too long ago and who have the same aspirations as me (tip: talk to the students—especially those with your same major—when visiting a school!). They spoke of working with senators and in the Smithsonian museums, and I was amazed. I realized that you couldn’t have more opportunities anywhere else than in DC.
The Center for International Relations is in DC, but the schools there also house countless politically active students and staff, and that is yet another reason why I want to major in International Relations. Since the beginning of my high school career, I have had strong political views and have tried to keep up with the news as much as I can. I want to contribute to a positive change within the United States and the world, and I know that studying the subject of International Relations will give me the tools necessary for application in the real world.
The best thing about the future is that it is unknown, so who knows if I will have the same aspirations in these upcoming years? Either way, I know that college—no matter how difficult and frustrating it will be—will teach me many things beyond the classroom, and I can’t wait!