Looking back on the past year of my life, I can finally see God's plan for my life unravelling before me. February of 2018 was a time of chaos and many questions surrounding my future. I had just had a dream that I'd been working towards for so long fall apart in front of my eyes, and I wondered what my next steps were. It was then that I began to see that my dreams were going to take me so much farther (quite literally) than I'd ever imagined. College is a huge part of my life, as it is for many high school juniors and seniors. We spend our entire lives dreaming of our futures and making so many plans, but this time was crucial for me in learning how exactly to follow my dreams.

I'm from a rural area in central Kentucky, and as a child, my plans were always to stay here and live my life in one of Kentucky's larger cities like Louisville or Lexington. It was during this time that I began to realize that my future was going to lead me much farther than I ever thought possible, and as nervous as I was about where God was leading me, I couldn't be more excited. It's important to note that if you have a dream in your heart, you have to be willing to put in the work it takes to achieve it daily. The moment I decided that I wanted to pursue higher education outside of my home state, I knew that I had to find a way to fund this great adventure I was about to embark on. Over the next nine months, I took the ACT a total of six times, having already taken it three times beforehand. Dreams require work, and lots of it, but if you're willing to put in the time and the effort, you can achieve your wildest dreams.

Dreams are different for everyone, and some are wilder and bigger than others. Mine required my family and I trecking thousands of miles across the Southeastern United States, touring universities far and wide. This was one of the best experiences of my life because I was quite literally able to see my dreams coming true in front of me. Seeing something you've worked so hard for coming to fruition is one of the best feelings in the entire world because it feels like all the blood, sweat and tears were actually worth it in the end.

As most of my family and friends know, this journey of following my dreams led me to a small town in Southern Alabama to Troy University where I'll be enrolling this fall. It's also important to note that while this journey has been amazing, it hasn't all been easy. When you decide to do something different and not follow the crowd, you'll inevitably face many close-minded critics who will judge you without knowing anything about you or your story. You'll face anxiety like none other because this is your dream and your entire heart is willing it to come true. But at the end of the day, you have to be willing to fight for your dreams, because one day you'll be sitting in a rocking chair in a nursing home somewhere and you don't want to have to say that you settled for less than the best, giving up on the dreams in your heart. So to the girl with big dreams, fight for them. Follow them. Go. Do. See.