In the soft, glittering light of the morning that broke through the thin curtains of my bedroom, I would open my tiny eyes, turning them over to my door, and patiently wait for my big brother to come into my room, crawl into my crib with his favorite matchbox cars in hand, and we would play with the cars until it was time for breakfast. We would manipulate my blankets to create creases as a substitute for roads. Every morning, I anticipated this routine. But little did I know that this routine served as a conditioner that would instill a passion within me so great that I would eventually work toward having a career that revolved around it.
You’re probably wondering why I took you back to a time before I was old enough to eat food that didn’t just come in the form of pasty goop. The reason was to acknowledge that fantastic moment when a seed was planted within my heart. There’s no guaranteed point in time when that takes place for someone. It can happen during infancy just as easily as it can happen in adolescence or adulthood. But because this happened to me as an infant, my love for cars has been growing steadily for about nineteen years.
Along with cars, I also have a passion for English and writing. A few years ago, in the late hours of the night, I was scouring the Internet for jobs within the automotive industry that involved writing, and so I came across the career of automotive journalism. Ever since then, I have been working toward that dream, writing as much as I can about cars in as many outlets as possible. My first article was published in a Charlotte magazine in 2014, and it was about Audi of Charlotte. I covered its business locally and nationally and discussed the latest and greatest models. I even got to dedicate a few paragraphs detailing the process of how to go about ordering an Audi R8. To get all of this information, I had to interview the General Manager of Audi, and I can’t decide which was my favorite: the interview or writing the article because I loved doing both. God had given me this opportunity as a gift–an ability to try out the role of automotive journalist in order to affirm or eliminate my projected career aspiration.
To get the qualifications I need for this career, I am attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, majoring in Communications with a minor in Journalism. In order to build experience as a student, I write for the lifestyle section of my school’s newspaper about cars.
When it comes to developing financial savvy, it’s been a hard fought battle for me to attain. In my childhood, I wasted a lot of money on frivolous toys that sparked my interest in the store and only managed to keep me entertained for a few weeks before I wanted to purchase another. My parents taught me the value of saving money, but I didn’t take their lessons seriously until much later when I was entering high school and nearing the glory of being able to drive. I realized that it wouldn’t be long before I had a vehicle of my own that I would have to maintain and fill up with gas on my dime. That is when I developed a financial conscious.
It’s human nature to care more about a possession when we have to invest in it ourselves. In this case, we begin to shift our priorities when it comes to spending our own money. Suddenly, we stop buying that five-dollar coffee and start brewing it from home. We stop buying clothes when we have more than enough already. We stop buying for the sake of buying, and we begin to prioritize the purchasing of necessities, occasionally caving to the desires of our flesh and acquiring a want.
To build up a bank account, I’ve gone from being a freelance babysitter in middle school and part of high school to a part-time nanny in my senior year of high school to my current occupation: an intern at a law firm in my town. I am indebted to those first two jobs because they molded me for my internship. Some say that babysitting is “not a real job,” but as far as I’m concerned, babysitting children gives you discipline, patience, obedience, resilience, and an appreciation for your parents: all invaluable traits that future employers will admire. That last trait is especially esteemed because it shows that you have a respect for adults and authority.
With my contribution to TeensGotCents, I hope to share my love for all things cars, my experience with being a working college student without having to sacrifice a good GPA for money, and everything that relates to making smart financial decisions as a teenager in order to make them out of habit as an adult.
I want to leave you with my favorite quote from Henry Ford, the man responsible for making the manufacturing of automobiles explode due to his assembly line method of production. I believe this statement is absolutely crucial to understand because we have the ability to be our greatest ally or our greatest enemy when it comes to achieving our goals.
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t . . . you’re right.”
And on that bombshell,
it’s time to end
(My ‘sign-off’ is a salute to the British version of ‘Top Gear’ one of my favorite tv shows!)