By Alexandra Mullane
Michael Stewart, a senior at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, took the last election as a turning point for his career track. As a baseball fanatic, specifically for the Red Sox, Stewart always dreamed of sports journalism as his career. When he was not writing, he was always using his time to play fantasy baseball online.
In childhood, he even played baseball. He recalls his biggest failure as when he did not make the team his freshman year of high school. Stewart continued playing though, and loved the sport. Unfortunately, those dreams of playing were crushed when Stewart was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma as a junior in high school. His battle with cancer lasted two and half years. By the time he was in remission he was already in college. All of this coincided with the 2016 election. That’s when Stewart’s fascination with politics began.
Having experienced the healthcare system, Stewart says he understands more than most Americans how the system works. With this knowledge, he began getting involved in political organizations such as the Democratic Socialists of America and Antifa. Twitter introduced him to both. His passion for healthcare grew, and Stewart looked at bringing changes through political means. Now, Stewart is one of many college students hoping to make a difference in the world through politics.
He says that although his interest grew when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump competed for the presidency, his interest was not influenced by them. During the election campaigns, Stewart was a Bernie Sanders fan. He ended up voting for Clinton to avoid voting for Trump.
With Stewart’s sports journalism dreams over, he is now looking towards a future focused on politics. Stewart would, in a perfect world, want to be the head of the Democratic Socialists of America. Realistically though, he hopes to go to graduate school for public health and really take on the healthcare system.
In his free time, he still dabbles in fantasy baseball, but this has become more of a hobby. Stewart also reads books by Noam Chomsky. He even idolizes him.
This change in Stewart’s career goals reflects patterns among millennials. Many go to Twitter to find news and to be introduced to new organizations. Stewart’s story is a reminder of how influential social media can be.
Mullane is a public relations senior