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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When You Work A Job In College, You Earn Things Mom And Dad's Money Can't Buy

The appreciation I have gained is something that cannot be bought, it was earned by hard work and dedication.

As my first year of college approached, I pleaded with my parents not to make me work during my first semester. I selfishly just wanted to have as much free time as possible to hang out with my friends, go out to frat parties, and sleep the whole next day. The last thing I wanted was to have a job to worry about, I just wanted to live off of my parents' dime.

I also thought it would have been nice to have school and extracurriculars as my only responsibility, but my parents refused to let me not have a job. They were both extremely hard workers for all of their life and saw no reason I could not handle both work and school.

So, against my wishes, I went out and got myself a hostessing job at a local restaurant. I had no idea the lessons and skills I would gain from this job that I dreaded on applying for initially.

1. Time Management

One of the things I value most about simultaneously being a student and having a job is learning how to manage my time. Prior to being a working student, I was extremely lazy when it came to doing assignments and projects, I would put them off until the very last possible moment. Once I started working, I had no time to waste, I was forced to get my life together and prioritize my responsibilities. So instead of spending my free time laying around and watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians, I was finishing my assignments before I had to go to work because I knew I had no other choice. I learned how to balance my responsibilities while still making time for myself.

2. Maturity

I learned that you cannot rely on your parents financially forever and that it is crucial to learn how to support yourself. I know my parents wanted to teach me that the real world is hard and they wanted to prepare me for it as best as they could. They did not want to shelter and enable me because they realized that it would only hinder me in the long run. My job itself taught me how to take responsibility for my actions, be on time, and to be professional. This all around gave me a more mature outlook on life and strengthened me as a person in several areas.

3. Perseverance

Being a working student is not easy and often makes it really hard to keep going when you are tired, sick, or just feeling worn out. Balancing both work and school can be extremely overwhelming and just make you want to give up at times, but you learn how to persevere because you care about your future. I had coworkers, teachers, and friends/family supporting me through every obstacle that was placed in my path and helped me get closer to achieving my goals. I knew the consequences of missing work, skipping class, and being lazy so I chose to persevere even when times were tough.

4. The Value of Money

When your parents support you financially, you never realize how much things cost. You probably never thought twice about swiping your parents' credit card for a $5 coffee or a $20 meal, but once it's your own money you start to think twice about splurging on unnecessary items. I began to realize how much things like groceries and gas cost and started to manage my money accordingly.

I also learned that money just doesn’t grow on trees and that there is a lot of hard work required in earning money. I would never have realized the true value of a dollar if my parents didn't make me get a job in college.

5. Appreciation

By having a job in college, I gained such an appreciation for things that I would have previously taken for granted. I have learned what it means to work for things and truly deserve everything that I have worked for. The appreciation I have gained is something that cannot be bought, it was earned by hard work and dedication.

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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A Thank You Letter to my Hero's

Your simple, yet silly personalities have the ability to light up any room you walk into.

Dear Friends, who were blessed with an extra chromosome;

I have decided that this World Down Syndrome Awareness Day, I want things to be all about you guys! Thank you for snuggling up to me in the middle of chapel and always wanting to hold my hand. I want you all to know that my love language is touch, so the endless hugs don’t bother me a bit. Thank you for having some of the most infectious personalities. Thank you for letting me act like a fool in front of you. Thank you for having faith like a child, so innocent perfect and pure. Thank you for teaching me to be so different. I used to see you guys in stores and malls and look down or walk the other way. Oh, how I was so wrong, and I misjudged you. And for that I am sorry, because I know that you do not judge. You don’t judge someone based on their appearance or personality but instead you LOVE. You Love with all your heart. My life would not be complete without you guys in it. I hear you giggle and laugh so hard it leads me to smile. I smile at this site because I think God is smiling and laughing along with you. I believe He created you and your bubbly personalities to bring light into this dark and fallen world. He looks down at you and smiles when he sees you giving it your all when you tie your shoe. You have taught me to never out grow being a kid. You have also taught me how to laugh. Your simple, yet silly personalities have the ability to light up any room you walk into. I am beyond thankful for all!! Thank you for the lessons you have taught me and will continue to teach me!!

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