Don't Be Afraid To Dream
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Don't Be Afraid To Dream

Even if you think you can't: you totally can.

Don't Be Afraid To Dream

"If you can dream it, you can do it." That cliché quote has followed us around since childhood, and it's been rammed into our heads to the point where I forget that it's meant to be inspirational. "You can do anything you set your mind to", "you can be anything you want to be", "reach for the stars". My entire life I have been encouraged by my parents, relatives, teachers, and friends to live my dreams. I've been vocal about wanting to go down so many different avenues in my life, from star hockey player to high school history teacher. I've always had this habit, one I share with my brother, to get intensely obsessed with one thing and by the next week have moved onto something else. This has happened with several celebrity crushes and several college majors. I always change my mind because I'm so interested in everything.

It wasn't until I decided my freshman year of college that I wanted to transfer schools when I realized what my true dream in life was. I only applied to one school: the university that was 2 miles away from my house. It was a great school and close to home, and my entire family had attended there. There was one thing about it that daunted me, though: it was more renowned for it's science and math programs, not the liberal arts programs that dominated my old school.

Since the ripe age of seven, I've had trouble with math. Because of this, I instantly cringe whenever I have to do any sort of math because I assume I won't be able to do it. I've failed countless math exams in high school, but to fail one in college would be even worse. I've never been a science-y girl, I've shied away from even really trying in my biology or chemistry classes in high school because I just assumed I couldn't do it, pulling away with low B's at the end of the school year. My apprehension with STEM subjects isn't anything new: there's a lot of girls out there who are taught that the 'girl' subjects are English and the arts, while the boys are meant to excel at math and science. It's a dichotomy that hurts our younger generations without anyone even really realizing that it's happening.

When I decided to transfer, I had to to put what major I wanted to declare at my new university. I entered my freshman year of college thinking I was going to be a history teacher, mostly because I was inspired by the great teachers at my high school and how much fun they had at their job. That dream died relatively quickly into the first semester. I changed my mind from psychology to political science, but I found that all the majors I was interested in at that school didn't really give me the future I was looking for. When I decided to transfer, I went to the university's undergraduate list of majors and happened upon something I never, ever saw myself having the audacity to be interested in: Public Health.

Public Health is a division of my school's health science program, and I have to take subjects such as Anatomy & Physiology, Biochemistry, Physiological Chemistry, Environmental Health, etc. What do these subjects have in common? They're all science. Here I am, transferring to a brand new university and declaring myself a brand new person, when only a year ago I shuddered at the thought of challenging myself. How did I end up here?

I ended up in this position because I took a leap of faith. After getting a 3.9 GPA my freshman year of college and defying all of my own expectations, I realized that I can do anything I set my mind to. If I dream of being a doctor or physician's assistant or researcher, I can do it. I was always afraid to voice my dream of being someone who works in the medical field because I simply thought I could never do it. I wasn't like some people in the major who have been dissecting their Barbie's since they were little kids or watched Grey's Anatomy because of their passion for the OR. I wasn't like that because I just never let myself see myself in such a way. I assumed I could never do something so challenging and amazing. But I am smart enough. I am good enough. I am a girl, and I can do anything. I sit in my classes and labs and don't feel an ounce of doubt in myself, I don't ever think about how scared I felt in high school biology or how stupid I felt in algebra. All I think about is how I finally have an excitement to learn and a determination to succeed, because I'm finally where I'm meant to be.

If you're sitting around wondering what to do with your life, but are apprehensive because you feel like it's not what you're 'supposed' to be doing, forget all about that fear. If you want to be a Broadway actor, start rehearsing your lines. If you want to be an army officer, go and contact that recruitment office who's number has been sitting on your desk in the shadows. If you want to be a doctor, forget everyone who says it's 'too hard' and start working. Don't ever stop dreaming, don't ever stop reaching for the stars. If you live your life too afraid to take that leap of faith, you won't end up anywhere. Don't let those lame societal expectations stop you from defying the odds. If you can dream it, you can do it. So go do it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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