Exams are on the horizon and, for many of us here at qmunicate, these will be the last ones we sit at Glasgow Uni. Safe to say we’ve been thinking a lot about the future. A few of our writers looked back into the past to give us a sense of how much our childhood aspirations have changed by the time we get to university, and whether there’ll be a space for them in the future.
When I was kid, I really wanted to become a popstar. The kind of Disney-esque pop sensation performing cheesy pop hits to a crowd of screaming fans. I went through loads of other ‘career fads’ – vet, detective, even explorer – but I always came back to being a singer. There was something about entertaining others through music that I loved, but when I started growing up, I pushed to the side as it was too ‘childish’ and ‘risky’ and essentially not realistic enough. So I had to choose something that would actually end up paying bills. But I kept it as a hobby.
I have a really vivid memory of me, aged about 7, drawing what I wanted to be when I was older. This was for school, and while everyone around me was drawing themselves as dancers, I wanted to be an archaeologist. The picture had me uncovering a skeleton. This tells me 3 things: I liked to be unique, I liked doing things hands on, and I really liked Horrible Histories. I’m actually doing a history-based degree now, over ten years later, and my third subject is archaeology. So I guess that means some of those things are still true. And I still fucking love Horrible Histories.
I remember in primary school being asked to write three sentences about our day. And, to me, that was the most thrilling thing ever. I was never entirely truthful, obviously. It had to be exciting, make people want to read. I just knew I was always in love with telling stories. I would tell people that I wanted to be a writer. Sometimes, they would roll their eyes: “Yes, but what will you actually do?” Well, sorry, but I still have the same dream. I don’t know if I’ll be telling stories by page or screen (if I’m lucky, both!), but I can’t see myself doing anything else.
I think, like most people, I wanted to be everything – Princess, Pop-Star, President – but the most distinctive aspiration I remember is Newsreader. I wanted to tell stories on the TV screen and organise my paper neatly on my desk. It looked so important and professional. As children we respond to what’s around us and, in my house, the news was always on. I remember asking my Mum if newsreaders ever smiled, I think she said something along the lines of ‘No they have to remain neutral’ but for some reason that didn’t put me off. This was before I really took note of what the people on screen were even saying, I just knew I wanted to be one of them.
When I was a child my aspiration was to look after animals or anything gross or slobbering at the mouth. I poked a frog on the back once to see if it was alive – it was. I liked animals more than I actually liked people and thought that I would become a vet when I grew up. My love for animals hasn’t changed, I’m just terrible at biology/maths/science so in case of getting some important medical dose horrendously wrong, the job is not for me: although I would still like to tame a wild fox with cat biscuit.
As a child I would get completely engrossed in adventure stories, especially when the characters travelled to strange and exciting places. When I was about five I learned the word “intrepid” from a story book my mum was reading me and it really captured my imagination. For a good few years I wanted to be an “intrepid sailor” – not a regular old sailor, but one who got to explore faraway lands where no-one had ever been before, having all kinds of wild adventures. Of course, when I got older I realised that the world isn’t really like that, and learning to sail takes a lot of money and hassle. But that’s ok – sometimes the best adventures are actually the ones you make up.