It really is amazing to think how much someones life can change in such a short amount of time. Laying in bed last night, I was just thinking.
The cable in our dorm building is currently not working so there was really nothing else to do because really, who does homework these days?!
Anyway, I was just thinking back to my life before college. I've been out of high school for three years now and the person I've become is only slightly similar to that 18 year old who received her diploma in May of 2011. If you would have asked me that day where I saw myself in 5 years, I would have said something along the lines of "still in school".
I started college as a psychology major hoping to work with athletes or children. That focus quickly shifted after taking my first general psych class in college and I realized that that profession was NOT for me. I had no backup plan. No inkling of what it is I wanted to pursue besides psychology.
In the middle of all of this, I stumbled into the world of NASCAR. I had always been familiar with the racing industry as in, I could tell you who Dale Earnhardt and Danica Patrick was. That was the extent of it. I discovered my love for this sport in an unusual way but I won't get into the details of that (you can read about it here).
Watching that first race on TV changed my life. Not immediately, but it started a chain of events that eventually led me to where I am today. I became intrigued with what was going on out on the track during a race. I could tell it was much more than just turning left hundreds of time, over and over and over again. There was a science, if you would call it, behind the car and the team and the driver. I had to know more and I spent the off season between 2011 and 2012 doing just that.
Between learning about NASCAR, I was also learning a lot about myself. I took a variety of classes my freshman year ranging from political science and math to religion and biology just trying to find the place where I fit in. I soon found myself in the midst of the Mass Communications department and it started a new chain of events that would eventually and unexpectedly mesh into my new-found world of motorsports.
Fast forward to mid-season 2012. My first full season as a fan of this sport, I was learning everything I possibly could about this sport that I had come to love so much. I started hinting to my parents that I wanted to visit Kansas Speedway for their October race and after enough nagging and begging, they said yes. I attended my first race and it proved to me what I already knew; this was going to be my future home.
During all of this, I was in the middle of my first semester as a mass communications major and being at the track, watching the professionals in the industry work right in front of me, made me think of something. I take my future profession, combine it with this amazing sport, and make a career out of it. That was it. THAT was my future; my ultimate goal.
I have always had a thing for writing. I am one of those weird kids who looks forward to long research papers. I saw that an online motorsports site was looking for contributing writers and I decided to give it a try. November 8, 2012 is when my very first article was published on BeyondTheFlag.com. Titled "Danica's Rock Star Weekend," I covered her appearance at Texas Motor Speedway with the "Speed 2 Read" awards.
After that article, and many others, I picked up a few more sites. Speedway Digest, Motor Racing Digest and Sicknissified all let me join their staff as a motorsports writer and my focus turned solely on my future career in the industry.
It's been just over a year since I publish my first article and as the 2013 NASCAR season comes to a close, it will mark just my second year as a fan of this sport. I've had so many amazing experiences and have been introduced to so many amazing people in this sport that naming them all would take an eternity.
Being able to be at Kansas Speedway this season as a member of the media was the highlight of this entire experience, so far. I can't believe how much my life and future has changed in just the last year that it almost makes my head hurt just to think about it. I want to thank each and every one of you reading this for believing in me and what I do because without you, I wouldn't be here. Motorsport fans, and NASCAR fans especially, are one of a kind. YOU are one of the main reasons I want to call this industry my home. Thank you.
I can't wait to see where this next year leads.
Stay tuned :)