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My Path to Success and Happiness

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As many teens around the world, I have a dream.  When I was 6, my dream was to be a veterinarian.  At 15, after discovering my love for science, I considered medicine, but today, with 18 years of experience, I have discovered my true passion: writing.

I should have realized it a long time ago.  Why else would I spend my days, when I was 7, writing short stories about the selfish violin or the talking pizza?  My mom read each one of them, and told me I was a great writer.  I guess I took it very seriously, but didn’t realize I could make a career out of it until the day my thoughts weren’t enough for my head and begged to be put on paper.

Olga on the Bench

I know the path to becoming a writer isn’t easy, as I suppose is true for any serious career, but as has been said many times, nothing that’s worth a lot is easy.  I am not expecting it to just land in my lap, so I’ve already imagined my future, and what I will need to get there.  First is the present.  The most important thing I need right now is to be a top student and get the grades I need to get to college.  Although this is what I’m focused on right now, I know I also need other things to survive: good friends that will support me wherever I go, and a loving family that will be there as I chase my dreams.

I chose my college not recently, but when I was fifteen or sixteen.  Many say I think about it too much, that it is not normal to know what college I want so early in the process.  Maybe that’s true, but the timing feels right to me.  The perfect college for me is Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, which is one of the top choices to study my dream career of journalism.  Although this is as far as many of my classmates have gone, my dream doesn't end there. After finishing my undergraduate education I plan to go on, to study a graduate program of social sciences, and afterwards a doctorate, but that far I have not figured out yet.

The future I want and the choices I will make to get there are all in my head.  I could take another path, but the objective will be the same: to be successful in my own way.  I have realized how people around me often have the wrong idea of success, thinking it depends on how high you are above others or the amount of money you make.  To me, success is directly related to happiness. I truly believe that if at any time, once I am older, I ask myself if I am happy, and the answer is “yes,” then my dream is fulfilled and success is in my hands.

Today I am just an eleventh grader who spends her days doing homework, writing stories, making up poems, and who, on her summer break, instead of going to the beach, attends an intensive writing course in the Summer Program for High School Students at Columbia University.  Tomorrow, I may be the same person, but one step further, a step that ten years from now will have counted as much as any other toward making me a writer and making me happy.

Escribo para vaciar mi mente y llenar mi corazon.
(I write to empty my head and to fill my heart)

Olga Gonzalez Latapi
México City

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