By Hayden Seay, Chattanooga, Tenn. — I was destined to be a history teacher. It was what I was told my entire life, from middle to high school to college, that seemed to be what I was going to do. But I knew I’d hate it. I love history, but teaching is not for me. Could I do it? Sure, but I wouldn’t enjoy it.

One afternoon of thinking about what I’m going to do with my life changed my mind. I started looking for something new.   

When I arrived at UTC, I had yet to choose a minor. Not knowing what exactly I wanted to choose, I chose communication and took two classes, just to see if I liked it or not.

Through those three choices, I found I love writing, which seems to have been present throughout my life.

In sixth grade, I wrote a series of short stories called Melvin’s Adventures. I wrote to the best that my sixth grade English skills would allow me, ending up with a notebook that I still have (and want to return to one day).

At the end of eighth grade, the 12 classmates predicted all of the awesome things we were going to do. Some ended up doing goofy things, others were more modest. I ended up becoming a best-selling author. I swear I had nothing to do with that.

Eighth grade predictions aside, I didn’t try writing again until July 2014, when I sat down and started writing a novel. I churned through a third of my first draft by the end of the summer, but school began and took over my life, all of my time and energy.

Only recently have I woken up to the fact that not allowing myself time away from everything is making me absolutely miserable. I’m finishing it this time, I’m not holding myself back anymore and I’m not letting anything get in my way.

I don’t know where this will lead. It might turn out good, bad or average, but the part that matters is that I did something I’ve always wanted to do.

So don’t hold yourself back, do something you’ve always wanted to do regardless of the outcome. Don’t let the world tell you what to do with your life.

I broke off from what seemed to be the be-all and end-all of my existence and took a chance, and it’s led me to something I love.

If writing a book goes nowhere, so be it. I did my best, I followed my dream.