Should I be an astronaut or a cowboy?

I have always been a restless and curious person, with a huge enthusiasm for knowledge. Since I was young, I’ve always been asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. Surprisingly I had a different answer every day, which never seemed a problem as I thought that would change as I grew up and got to know myself better.

I was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, to a Scouser dad and a Spanish mom. We moved to Spain before I even learned how to say “dada”, so I was happily educated under the bright sun and the busy beaches in Spain, more specifically in Peniscola, Castellon. As I grew up I decided that I wanted to come back to my roots. So when I was old enough to move out, I booked a flight to Leeds to start my A-levels.

Nine months ago I was deciding which A-levels I was going to take – luckily my dad had always made an effort to teach me English. Obviously it wasn’t as good as the rest of the sixth formers, but that was something I just had to deal with.

I had no idea what I wanted to study… Physics? Business? Art? I tried a couple of them on my first week at Roundhay School until the choice deadline arrived. I chose Textiles and Art - which made me discover a much more creative side of myself; Spanish - I thought it would be helpful having a break from speaking English for a couple of hours each week ; and Business - which has led to me sitting in front of this computer right now, surrounded by the professionals of Source Marketing Communications, writing for their website (and hoping to not make many spelling mistakes!).

Ever since I started my A-levels I’ve been pushed to find myself, choose the right university course, and yet my answer is still the same – “who knows”. What I did know was that I didn’t want to be pushed in to spending the next three years studying a university course  I had chosen one random morning whilst eating my breakfast, as I usually do, and spend the rest of my life paying the huge debt which that rushed decision had left me with.

I am currently completing my work experience week with Source MC, a PR, social media and marketing company based in Leeds. In less than 12 hours I’ve discovered a wide range of things, including writing press releases for big clients, how to handle social media and the importance of it within a company.

When I first heard about PR and Marketing I wasn’t sure what it really was, or if I was going to enjoy it. But I took the step and discovered that it may be an option for my future, as I really enjoyed my short but fulfilling experience with the team (and being a cowboy had never really been a suitable option). This has given me the confidence to take any opportunities that are presented, and to make the most of them.

Where I want to get with all this is that there is still time to make mistakes, to change  my mind, and only then realising that  the first choice was fine. It’s time to live as many experiences as you can and open your mind, so when they ask you again in the future what you want to be, you won’t have to guess.


Written by Jazmina Frith Pena, 04/07/2019