As a child, the ability to become anything is the most fundamental component of life. The prospect of adversity, or hardship seems almost unfathomable while carefully tending to your dreams.

Growing up, if you asked me what I aspired to do as an adult I likely would’ve rattled off an incomprehensible plan detailing jobs as big as exploring uncharted waters in faraway lands to jobs as simple as being able to make pancakes by myself as I had seen my older cousins do before me.

However, when asked the same question nowadays I find myself struggling to bring in the childlike excitement I held growing up. In fact, most days I find the most excitement when successfully completing the tongue twister I perform attempting to explain that I simply hope to study law.

After speaking with my peers, I have come to recognize that this is not a unique experience. In fact, viewing education as a process as opposed to an enriching journey seems to be the biggest shared experience among students everywhere. This recognition has led me here to Duke’s research blog.

My name is Gabrielle Douglas, I am a first-year student at Duke, and I hope to use my role as a research blogger to revive a love for learning!

I was born in Brooklyn, New York in 2005, but I was primarily raised in Houston, Texas (an experience that can only be summed up by one word: Hot). I spent a great portion of my childhood surrounded by stories of people from all walks of life because moving served as a constant in my life.

Through this experience, I was able to recognize from a young age that learning was truly a passion for me. J.M Barrie describes childhood as a place in which “dreams are born and time is never planned,” and for me nothing was truer. Throughout my youth, I came to realize that my love for learning people’s stories translated into the even larger realm of humanities. I spent hours learning how different parts of the world operate simply because I could. I filled my days with writing on topics I held dear to me. And most importantly I basked in the excitement that came with knowing that I understood another factor of life.

As I aged however, my lessons began to grow in uniformity in an effort to emulate a set curriculum. That was one of the driving factors in my dwindling love for learning. The learning process seemed to lose the spark of creativity that allowed for joy to surge within the process.

For this reason, embarking on this journey is so important to me. I hope to utilize this position to go beyond my comfort zone and begin exploring uncharted areas as my younger self once aspired to do.

I hope to provide you as readers with articles deeply intertwined with the joys associated with new discoveries. Most importantly, I hope to return to the space in which “dreams are born, and time is never planned.”

Post by Gabrielle Douglas, Class of 2027