Don't Waste Your Life By Not Dreaming Big

Don't Waste Your Life By Not Dreaming Big

I'm chasing my dreams — and you should too.

5 years old, innocent and starving for knowledge.

"What's this?"

"Why is that person wearing those shoes?"

"How do you spell your name?"

That's where it all started. I wanted to be a scientist. Then I wanted to be a veterinarian. After that I wanted to be a photographer, followed by a writer; now I just want to make the world a better place. Through photography and writing, that is.

Every day, I'm daydreaming about a new success story. I'm thinking about my future photography business, pondering the opportunities I have at such a young age in the world. I have anything and everything that I could ever possibly want not only right in front of me, but also in my reach. Too many people believe that they don't because of their living situation, location, and "deciding" other factors.

That isn't true.

Changing the world can be as simple as walking young kids home from school every day, to donating any amount of money to a foundation that you support. Many young men and women have the chance to make the world a better place, they just have to know that they can do so.

Nowadays, everyone settles. Not many people have the mindset that they can do whatever they want in life. Following their "dream" is just another thing they don't believe is tangible. I say otherwise, I say you can do anything you put your mind to. I don't say that in an inconsequential way, I say that with meaning and hope that you will go out and take the world by storm.

YOU can do it.

YOU can be successful.

YOU can do ANYTHING you put your mind to, and you should NOT settle for any less.

What's your passion? Are you pursuing it?

Do you want to be a makeup artist, but you're settling with working at Subway? Ditch the visor and polo then go out and do a seriously awesome makeup job on someone. Post it on social media, develop a small business. Be the best at what you do. Do you want to be a photographer, but you're scared that your work isn't good enough? Well get to practicing and have a photo shoot every chance you get, self-educate, learn on Youtube — the opportunities are endless.

Graduate high school. Go to college, or don't go to college. Start a business with your best friend. Find something you love, and pursue it. Follow your heart.

I need my friends, family, and peers to know that the possibilities are endless. Go out and follow your dream. Put it in your heart, mind, and soul — don't give up on it and most importantly, just keep swimming.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Mullins

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What It's Like To Take A Class With Professor Yuri Urbanovich

My experience taking a class with one of the best professors at UVA.

I have taken multiple classes with Professor Urbanovich during my time at UVA, and he is one of my favorite professors. Not only does he genuinely care about his students, but he also pushes them to learn more than humanly possible in the span of 50 minutes.

Seriously, I have learned more in his classes about Russian history and politics than I could have ever imagined. Professor Urbanovich’s thick Georgian accent and recalls of personal experiences also make his classes more personal, allowing students to understand the nation’s history and politics on a completely different level.

No wonder his classes fill up in a matter of hours when course registration begins!

The best part of Professor Urbanovich’s class is the many repeated quotes that one can uncover during his lectures. I am currently taking a J-term course with Professor Urbanovich and I have noticed that he says some things a lot throughout the course of his lectures, which makes them that much more interesting and fun.

If you’re interested in taking a course with Professor Urbanovich, which I highly recommend, be aware of the fact that Urbanovich will say the following things a lot.

1. My friends...

Professor Urbanovich does not refer to his students as “you guys” or “ my students,” but rather “my friends.” He often starts his lectures with “my friends,” making the class more intimate and welcoming. He welcomes various thoughts and opinions and treats his students in a way that makes it seem like you really are friends with the professor.

I have only taken two classes with him, but he always remembers who I am (a rare occurrence at a large university).

2. It is inconceivable

Professor Urbanovich often says that certain events or occurrences are “inconceivable”, and when he does, you know that the even matters a lot in terms of Russian history. It’s sort of like a marker for the things you should absolutely remember after any given lecture.

Earlier this week, one of his students quoted Urbanovich’s “inconceivable” phrase during a presentation, and the entire class, including the professor, started laughing. It just goes to show how welcoming and fun his classes can be.

3. I mean, can you imagine...

This is something along the lines of “inconceivable”, but it happens on rare occasions, usually when Professor Urbanovich is comparing the US to Russia and explaining how various events that occur in Russia would not be welcomed in the US or any other nation.

For example, the Pussy Riot fiasco that occurred in Russia was a stab at the religious values present in Russia, but we idolize it in the US. If something like this had happened in Israel or any other nation with strong religious values, we would most likely look at it in a different light. I mean, can you imagine…

4. I am so proud of you

Professor Urbanovich values education over number grades, often telling students that he is extremely proud of the work they’ve done and that they will go far in life. He does give exams, homework responses, and various projects, as any professor would, but he often makes students feel accomplished and successful after the completion of any assignment.

His comments on most essays are very constructive and provide guidance toward the development of better writing skills and the creation of more ambitious future projects.

5. Don't throw potatoes at my head

On the first day of my J-Term class, Professor Urbanovich compared our class to a large group of protestors as a joke, saying that we shouldn’t throw potatoes at his head if we did not agree with one of his statements.

Throughout the course of the past two weeks, he has repeated this phrase several times, especially during lectures that might have sparked opposition among students. Professor Urbanovich says this in a joking way of course, and it makes the class seem less intense than it is, almost as if we were not learning 1000+ years of Russian history in the span of 10 days.

Cover Image Credit: UVA

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21 Things To Do On Your 21st Birthday

You’re officially legal! It’s time to celebrate!

You’ve been waiting for this day for, well, 21 years! It’s one of the biggest milestone birthdays there is to look forward to. You probably never thought you’d make it to this point, but now that the day is here, there’s so much to do!

1. Drink!

2. Go out to dinner.

3. Go to the Casino.

4. Go on a winery tour.

5. Drink!

6. See a movie.

7. Drink!

8. Eat wine-flavored ice-cream!

9. Buy something for yourself.

10. Scratch lottery tickets.

11. Drink!

12. Go bowling.

13. Throw a party.

14. Go on a cruise.

15. Drink!

16. Dance.

17. Drink!

18. Go to a club with friends!

19. Celebrate with family.

20. Open presents.

21. Drink!

You’ve waited 21 years to legally have your first sip of alcohol, whether it be wine, beer or some fruity cocktail. The moral of this is it’s time to drink, so indulge yourself.

But drink responsibly!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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