Becoming an adult can be terrifying, and deciding on your career path at 18 is even more mortifying. Why do we put so much weight on our shoulders at such a young age?

Go to college. Get a "real" job. Finish school and get that degree. Make X amount of money. Do something worthy.

The weight of the world only grows as you get older, and we let the expectations of others control our own reality. Who is it that determines what is a "realistic" dream vs an intangible one? Our parents? Friends? Strangers? Why do we place so much of our lives into other people's hands?

Being a junior in college, I often find myself questioning everything. Why am I choosing this career path? Will I finish this degree and graduate? Will I continue my education or immediately join the workforce? Is this really what I want to do with my life? What can I even do with this? Will I be able to make a living out of this? The pressures of graduating and entering what others claim as the real world can be daunting.

As I grow older and get further into my education, I notice how much the pressure has changed me. I am exhausted, overwhelmed, and passionless. What happened to the little girl who wanted to change the world? What happened to the middle schooler who wanted to save lives? What happened to the high school salutatorian whose vigor inspired others?

Slowly watching the fire burn out of me chasing more realistic goals made me realize the importance of fervor.

The sparks that drove me dimmed, and with it went my creativity, passion, eagerness, energy, and aspirations. I had let go of those silly dreams and found myself in limbo. Yeah, I might not be the first female President and I may never cure cancer, but why should I let life take those desires from me? Where is the passion that drove me throughout school? Where is the lust for a better life?

It wasn't until now that I realized that I can still hold on to those dreams, even if they aren't realistic while pursuing more tangible ones. There shouldn't be a void of empty desires in our lives.

However, there must be a fine line between realistic and impractical goals. The want for more is important, but we cannot allow ourselves to be transfixed on what we cannot change.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things that I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Determining what is a realistic dream and what is not can be difficult. We would like to think that we can do anything we want, but the truth is that we are only human and cannot. We will fail many times, but we must get back up and continue on.

The fear of failure and the rejection of our dreams can be hard, but we must not let that paralyze us.

Always go with your passions. Never ask yourself if it's realistic or not.
-Deepak Chopra

I challenge you to seek further into your dreams. Follow your biggest desires without halt, and if you fail, get back up and tread on. Don't let the cruelty of the world persuade you to give up hope. There are amazing plans for you, you just have to be willing to fight for them.