Eli Hunt

The past five years of my collegiate experience have been so wildly unpredictable, that I would have never guessed that I would be in the spot that I am in now. As a wide-eyed freshman at the University of Tennessee, there were so many things that I expected, awaited and was excited to begin interacting with in the collegiate world around me.

Unlike many of my peers and friends around me, I did not come to the University of Tennessee because of a profound love for a sport, nor did I come to the school to experience a “classic” college experience full of partying. I came to the university extremely excited to be a part of the computer science program and eager to finally begin taking Japanese language classes, which was something I had desperately been wanting to do since middle school. However, despite my excitement, I went through quite the rough patch in only my second semester of college.

Feeling lost and drained already, I was not entirely sure if the major and career path I had initially been so focused on in the beginning were really for me, and that caused a lot of anxiety and conflict about what I was really doing here at UT. I went on to fail a part of that semester and dropped out of almost all of my engineering classes. It was then that I had decided that the path that I was on was not for me and thus began exploring other majors and opportunities that the school offered.

The switch that I made to begin exploring what I was truly interested in, and not just what I was being pressured into, really made huge changes for my motivation and interest in my education. I was finally able to take Japanese language classes, begin writing more as a journalism major and eventually was able to begin working here at The Daily Beacon as an opinions writer.

I chose to make a switch for myself, despite the intense stress of college, and that choice has led me to a point where I am much more confident and happy in what I am doing. I was also able to branch out and explore some clubs that spoke to my interests and was able to meet some of the most important people of my life because of it.

Being able to be a part of the esports club and the Vols’ Japanese Culture Association were some of the best times in my college experience, and I am honestly happy I took the chance to try them out.

The path that I have been on over the past five years has been so full of twists and unexpected events, but I am truly glad to be able to say that I have come as far as I have. 

Elijah Hunt is a senior majoring in journalism. They can be reached at ehunt8@vols.utk.edu.

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

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