What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Ansley Davis, Guest Writer

What do you want to be when you grow up? Many high schoolers are asking themselves this question, right this minute. Is it because they’re preparing for a big interview, selecting courses, applying for college, or building a resume? Maybe.  Or it could just be that the winter dance is on the horizon and they need the perfect costume. This dance is always an exciting time for Athens Academy! Each year, the student council votes and ultimately selects a theme. This year the theme is “What you want to be when you are older.”

In preparation for this event, adults were asked what they wanted to be when they were younger and what their profession  is  now. It’s fascinating to learn that many of them changed courses, although many stayed the same.  When choosing a career path, there are many different things to take into consideration. Strengths, school, time, money, and convenience are important factors that contribute to a successful career. For instance, Spence Johnson went from wanting to be a doctor to ultimately starting a career as a successful lawyer. He explained, “ As I got older, I realized that I was better at writing and speaking than I was at math and science. The legal profession is driven by words, whereas the medical profession is driven by images and data.”

Kirk Morris said, “when I was younger I wanted to be an NFL football player.” He was a talented athlete in high school but when it came time to decide whether to play in college or not, he chose not to. Other college players were even more talented and the chances of the NFL ultimately calling him looked dim. It worked out though because after studying business at UGA, he is now a successful VP for a large pest control company. Morris laughed while saying, “I never aspired for that, but the universe had other plans and I couldn’t be happier.” 


Similar to Mr. Johnsons, Jackie Stokes also wanted to be a doctor when she grew up.  She knew she was good with math and science and very interested in helping people.  “I was too scared of a bad grade when things got hard, so I quit,” she says. Ms. Stokes decided to pursue a career in the medical industry instead, working for pharmacists and hospitals. 

Sometimes people know exactly what they want to be and they do exactly that!  Winston Wiant, a successful painter, knew this from an early age. She realized that she had talent in this area and it brought her great joy, so she stuck with it. Today she sells her famous paintings all over the nation. 

Common advice young people are told when looking for a career path is “to choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” But how do you truly find a job that best fits you? Everyone has different interests such as playing music, teaching children in the school system or even designing and building homes. It’s important to know what you’re good at, what interests you, or what gives you purpose.  It’s also important to note that this could change, and that’s okay too!

We asked some Athens Academy students what they thought they would like to be when they get older and most were happy to share their aspirations. Similar to Mr. Morris, Preston Darden said “When I am older I hope to play football.” George Barkley shared his dream to follow in hi fathers footsteps as he says “I’d like to be an investment banker. Senior Tre Hawkins plans to further his studies in college and “hope to be CEO of a business.” Although she has four years until graduation, Ella Dillon aspires to work in the field of sports medicine in her future. 

We have so many decisions to make on a day-to-day basis.  What to order, how to dress, whom to talk to, and what to play with are all things on our minds. Now, we are adding “what to be” to the list. Although, the good news is that nothing is set in stone.