FCHS Essay Winner 2023: Sydney Drew Evans

Editor’s Note: This year’s winner of the FCHS Scholarship is Sydney Drew Evans. Daughter of Joseph and Samantha Evans, Sydney recently graduated from Conway High School with a weighted GPA of 4.1522, 38th in her class of 689

My interest in history has influenced not only my academic life but my personal one as well. I’ve always loved learning and gathering information about the world around me, but I’ve found that history is possibly the most valuable asset for the modern person.

My interest in history started with the History Channel and learning about ancient Egyptians and mummies, but I’ve grown far beyond charismatic show hosts and large books made for elementary students. I believe that my penchant for history will be instrumental in both my college and professional career, and far beyond.

College is currently the biggest thing on my horizon. I’ve always wanted to pursue a degree in history one way or another. At first, my interest was in archaeological studies; I dreamed of moving to a desert and spending my day digging through dust and dirt, trying to discover some previously unknown ancient city.

Then I realized that archaeology, while adventurous, is not just digging up artifacts. I learned that there is so much more that goes into archaeology: grants, papers, teaching, doctoral degrees, PhD defenses, etc. So I decided that my talents could be used elsewhere but I still wanted to capitalize on my talent for memorization and history.

Thus, I landed on law school. I thought that my speech and debate talents would go to waste doing field work and I wanted to help people. As I got older, my knowledge of the world grew and I began to study Supreme Court cases and famous lawyers. I wanted to find someone or something in the past to emulate. I wanted to follow in their footsteps.

Yet, I realized that, while I enjoyed law, I didn’t enjoy arguing. This was the moment when I realized that what I truly loved was research—the act of falling down rabbit holes and learning everything I could about a single topic. So, I moved on from the dream of courtroom discussion and Washington D.C.

My dream now is to become a collections manager for, honestly, any museum that will have me. Being a collections manager combines my favorite parts of my previous dream jobs. Handling artifacts, memorization, oration, and a whole lot of research. I can still chase rabbits down rabbit holes and handle artifacts, and I’ll get paid for it. I’m able to have my cake and eat it too. I’ve learned that being a collections manager is hard work, that there’s still the dreaded Ph.D. defense, but I’m able to look past the hardship and see myself with an office covered in books.

I am intensely grateful that my love of history will potentially become my career and not just a hobby. I feel uniquely connected to museums and the history housed within them. I’m not only able to appreciate the artifacts and material on display, but the hours of hard work that goes into acquiring the material, making the display, writing the little blurbs about the artifact, and much more. I sincerely hope that one day I’m a part of that process, because history is the most important tool in mankind’s toolbelt.