Come what may. That’s the attitude Ryan James Hughes carries as he speeds through college and readies himself to enter the career world. Hughes, a 20-year old New York University journalism student, plans to graduate a year early and start working full time in the city. He allows his passions– research, writing, French, and the environment – to take him from undergraduate student to his next big chapter in life.

From coast to coast: I was born and raised in San Francisco, but my parents decided they were going to move to Philadelphia after I graduated high school. I wanted to stay close to them, so I applied to small liberal arts schools on the East Coast, as well as Northwestern University and NYU. I ended up getting into all of the ones I applied to, so the hard part was deciding which one to attend. Ultimately, I decided that going to a school with many resources available would be ideal.

New York, not so new: I grew up in a city, so I wasn’t so new to New York’s busy atmosphere. Plus I had been to New York a good amount of times, so it was somewhat familiar to me. But still, I realized once I moved here that you only really get to know the city in depth when you live here.

Environmentalist since childhood: I’m passionate about the environment, particularly interested in cutting carbon emissions and preserving biodiversity. In middle school and high school, I was part of my Keep San Francisco Green club. I recently volunteered for Greenpeace and was even given an opportunity to intern there.


The journalist inside: I love research. To be honest, I became a journalist because I love researching things. I like restructuring facts that have already been found in a more reader-friendly, creative voice. I’ve interned every semester since my freshman year of college. My favorite internship so far was at Lucky Magazine.

A smart decision: I love creative writing, so I initially wanted to declare that as my minor. But while following that track, I suddenly decided it was silly to take a fun hobby of mine and turn it into such structured class work. It wasn’t as enjoyable. So I changed my minor to computer science.

Writing, writing, and more writing: I’m finally taking a semester off from interning because I have to focus on writing and presenting my 50- to 70-page thesis. In French! As of now, we’re all still in our researching and brainstorming stage. I haven’t actually started writing it yet. My thesis is about haute couture as an indicator of socioeconomic disparity.

Graduating, but not done with school: I don’t like living with regrets, nor do I enjoy putting myself in many hypothetical situations. I live day by day, with a “come what may” attitude toward life. The idea of not being a student anymore is daunting, I’ll admit, but I’m excited to see what’s out there for me next year. And I know I’m not done with higher education. I might be working for a few years after college, but I plan on eventually going to graduate school and getting a higher degree.


Written by Annie Park