I think it started around freshman year of college.
Everyone around me started slowing down and falling into the root of the course load and stress that comes with it. I can't blame anyone for being mentally exhausted because I feel it too, and often.
But what I will never understand is the lack of dreaming in so many people, especially as of late.
People dream their whole lives. From as early as the age of 5, we dream of the ice cream truck and our parents giving us a buck or two so we can get the SpongeBob on a stick. Then at age 10, we dream of what middle school will be like and how many friends we will make as we weave through the halls to get to our very first locker. At 15, we dream of our first kiss and what our first slow dance song with our crush will be. Fast forward a few years and we're dreaming of college and getting outside the walls of our inevitably terrible high school. We reach college, then the dreaming stops.
We get stuck in a whirlwind of assignments and finding our footing in the real world of living away from our parents, picking up payments we never had to before (like those dreaded $200 textbooks), and having to get a job on the side of it all to make sure we can actually support ourselves.
Everything becomes a chore. The only dreaming I see 20-something year olds doing lately is of taking a nap after a work shift or binging a new show on Netflix between assignments. Everything on their mind has become short-term, including their goals.
To that I say, grow up and get over your stress. This feeling of exhaustion will pass and when it does, you won't have a future planned out for you by your design. You're going to look in the horizon and see nothing but fog on your graduation day because you dragged your feet and worried too much about assignments you probably already forgot about. You're going to have no plan for yourself and that is going to be the worst stress you will ever experience.
I'm going to put this into context for you: I asked my writers to fill out a document with their contact information as well as a little bit about them so I can get to know them better and understand their motives with Odyssey. Some of them are English majors and are working on building their creative writing technique, while others are biology majors looking for an outlet to express some suppressed creativity.
Others vary in major but have no idea why they do what they do. In the column that reads "dream job," their answer remains "N/A." Their dreams are not available and I don't think it's because they don't know what they want to do, but rather they're scared of not achieving those dreams. When you speak your desires into existence, there's a pressure that you need to get to them so you don't look like a failure to everyone around you who knows what you had once wanted to do.
I don't blame people for being afraid, but as the cheesy saying goes, "Shoot for the moon and even if you don't make it, you'll land among the stars." If you shoot for mediocrity, well, you'll likely make it. Congrats?
The headline of this article is a little harsh, but I think tough-love is what makes people move. If you cradle someone, they will only ever want to be cradled. But when you push someone, they will eventually want you to stop doing it for them and they will begin to do it for themselves.
If you're someone stuck in life and haven't dreamed, please start doing so. This world is too dark to not create your own light. My dream is to become an editor of the New York Times. Will I make it? Who knows, but I'll certainly fight my hardest to get there and even if I never do, because I've worked so hard, I'm sure I'll land something great.
Don't be afraid of the future - just believe in yourself. You're bound to do great things if you put your mind to it and stop worrying about what others will think of you if your future doesn't pan out how you originally wanted it to. Work hard and everything will follow suit.