KOKOMO, Ind. – Many college students struggle with figuring out what they want to be when they grow up. But not Andrew Jones – he's had it planned for years.
He aspires to be an author, and with Commencement just around the corner, he is one step closer to making his dream a reality.
"I've always loved reading and writing," said Jones, a graduating senior at Indiana University Kokomo, who will receive his bachelor's in English. "English has always been my strongest subject, and I've always received a lot of encouragement to pursue it."
When Jones came to IU Kokomo in the fall of 2009, selecting his major was a no-brainer. He didn't choose it simply as a career path or because he's good at it. He is passionate about many areas of the field.
Jones' love for English starts with reading and writing. He enjoys reading fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction, and has always been mesmerized by the medieval, European settings.
"It's epic and exciting with these chivalrous, honorable heroes," he said. "These knights were proud of their faith, and themes of bravery and sacrifice are common themes, which I value in these types of novels."
One of his favorite novels is "Le Morte d'Arthur," a story about young Arthur rising to king and then his death and the fall of Camelot.
"Some of the greatest characters and greatest stories in the world are just in this one book," he said. "It's incredible how much can simply fall between pages."
Jones really enjoys the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series, with "The Hobbit" being one of his favorite books. In addition, he enjoys "1984" and "Star Wars."
"As an English major, I'm constantly reading and writing, but I have to allow myself to read for leisure," Jones said. "You don't always have to read demanding, high-level texts."
He simply enjoys getting lost in a novel.
Recently, Jones has found a hobby in reading political blogs. He hopes to be a blogger someday, and would like to focus on political blogging. He really enjoys the short format, and keeping up on causes he cares about and American politics.
"Politics are such a big deal, and they have massive consequences and will have big consequences in the next generations," Jones said. "It's important to know what's going on in the world."
During his time on campus, he's focused his spare time and energy in writing for The Correspondent student newspaper. He's received practical writing experience, while writing about his interests, and has written every semester he's been at IU Kokomo.
"The experience has been extremely helpful in deciding if I ever want to go into the newspaper business," Jones said. "It's been invaluable to work and learn in the process."
This passion led him to receive the Phoenix Prize in English scholarship during his junior year. It's the "coolest thing he's ever received."
"Receiving this scholarship showed me that my work has value, and everything I've done so far has been worth it," he said. "I want to make sure that whatever I do in life that I impact someone in the way the scholarship impacted me."
In 2009, he also was named the Herbert Presidential Scholar for the Kokomo campus. The program was created by President Emeritus Adam W. Herbert during his tenure at IU (2003-2007) and is considered one of the most prestigious scholarships offered to IU students.
Jones has many paths he can take after graduation. He hopes to continue to write professionally, while focusing on his fiction writing in his spare time. After taking Theories and Practices of Editing at IU Kokomo, he's also considering a career in editing.
Whatever Jones decides to do, he will always write and pursue his dreams of becoming an author.
Story written by Mary Olk. Mary is a student writer for the Office of Media and Marketing.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.