Taylor Hughes, a Lawrence University junior from Wausau, knows a thing or two about balancing a busy schedule.
The English/creative writing major is a two-sport athlete—volleyball and softball—while also working as a student journalist for the student newspaper, The Lawrentian. By the spring of her first year, she was already a top editor for the newspaper. Now she is serving as the sports editor, blending her love of writing, publishing, and sports.
“When you enjoy the work that you are doing, it isn't really work anymore; it's an adventure,” Hughes said. “Maybe it's the storyteller in me, but I love the feeling that I am working toward something important and making a difference to those around me and to myself. I like to think of the things I do as a small domino in a large, wonderful effect, and because of that, I take a lot of pride and enjoyment out of my time and activities at Lawrence. The busy is part of the reward.”
Hughes said she knew she wanted to pursue creative writing and play sports in college. She was drawn to Lawrence’s English major, with a creative writing track, and fell in love with the campus and the Athletics Department on her first visit.
“The only thing I could think was, ‘I have to go here’,” Hughes aid. “The classes, the coaching philosophy, the feeling of home away from home, everything felt right. There were other schools and other tours and other coaches, but I knew I was being called to Lawrence.”
A collaborative community of storytellers, the program focuses on fiction, nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, and playwriting as expressive mediums.
Scholarships and grants helped Hughes make Lawrence a reality.
“I knew I wanted to go to school, and eventually I knew that school was Lawrence, but affording school was a whole different battle,” she said. “I worked three jobs in high school, often going straight from work to practice, cramming in my schooling at odd hours of the night. I applied to every scholarship I could. I wrote essays and filled out applications. I didn't want to let finances keep me from turning dreams into reality. The optimist in me likes to think I could have somehow worked my way through education, but the fact is, I wouldn't be here without the Wisconsin Grant and all the generosity of Lawrence alumni. I am making this climb now, but they opened the door.”
Hughes is looking to use her experiences at Lawrence as a springboard to a writing career after she graduates.
“I want to be a novelist, writing alongside the next generation of storytellers and dreamers,” she said. “I want to create stories like the ones that helped me see the world under a brightened light. I will always be a student of the craft, and I want to take everything I will learn and spread that passion and technique to others.”