Learning to dream again.

You’re back in the year 2010. Standing in front of your mirror while Ke$ha is singing Tik Tok in the background, your shirt tied using a rubber band, your single ponytail on the right side of your head, silly bands cutting off circulation to your wrists, and the magnet from your bottlecap necklace tickling your neck. As you get ready to run out the door you kiss your Webkinz goodbye and finally find the courage to ask your parents for money to use at the Scholastic Book Fair which you stick it behind your Justice and build-a-bear gift cards. Then suddenly, the unthinkable happens, you wake up.

Most say you dream about your future, what you aspire to be and how life will end up, but we are now stuck in a phase of dreaming of our pasts. We think back to our childhoods as being safe havens for us and refuse to accept that those were the golden days. Society today has turned into a nightmare where kids are expected to be staring at a screen all day rather than riding their bikes. Is this how we want the next generation to end up? Where kids talk about their highest score on a video game via text message while sitting at a dinner table. Where it is socially acceptable for middle schoolers to walk around looking like twenty year olds. Where textspeak is a newly founded language. This is the reality of the world we are living in today, and it will continue to grow in technology and eventually turn into a scene from WALL-E.

The digital age is happening at this moment. It is so odd to think that we are in the future and 2020 is a short 3 years away. In the meantime, humanity has made extreme strides to reach new standards of excellence and intelligence but has lost its touch with reality. It is seen as more successful to publish a platinum record through an album promoting prostitution and substance abuse than to become a doctor who treats hundreds of patients in terminal diseases daily. We portray our lives to be so glamorous that we eventually end up persuading ourselves into our own lies.

Students would rather live by the philosophy, “C’s get degrees” than striving to reach the top. We have the technology and resources to excel but it is the lack of drive which separates those with a competitive angle to be on top and everyone else to fall short. Indira Gandhi once said, “There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.” The reason this quote is so influential is because it is true. People would rather steal the glory for themselves than work hard and earn the credit. The sad thing about hard work in this age is that it doesn’t always pay off, people who are honest and put in a full days work are typically not the ones coming out with more zeros on a paycheck, they are the ones who get taken advantage of.

Steve Jobs is known as the founder of Apple Inc. but what some people do not realize is he was not alone in his creation. Apple Computer Company was founded in April 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. The company’s first product was the Apple I and was a computer single-handedly designed and hand-built by Wozniak. It was sold in July 1976 for a market-price of $666.66 which calculates to $2,806 in 2017 dollars, adjusted for inflation. Neither Wozniak or Wayne were ever mentioned in the company’s title, but Jobs was always in the spotlight and was always given credit for the success of Apple Inc. In other words, Jobs accepted credit for a group effort where majority of the work was done by a single member and the credit was given to another member. Sounds like a middle school group project again, doesn’t it.

This generation learns while they are young on how to act when they grow older and that state of mind does not change until it gets them into trouble. People will continue to push the limit until there is no longer an extreme to push to and that is what they see as their competitive. They are not doing whatever it takes to win- they are doing whatever it takes to earn the credit. It is an entitlement sickness where people love to believe they are entitled to something because of what they may have done or gone through but they will not put in the effort to get their way to the standing they want to be seen at.

Is there a clear solution on how to address and fix this entitlement dilema? No. One thing I have come to learn while growing up is that there is only one thing in this world that you can control, and that is your attitude. There are 5-year-olds who have seen nothing but hospital beds for months who still smile and laugh, at the same time there are CEO’s making 8 to 10 figures drinking away their money and sulking. An attitude is the way you address and and respond to any given situation and thinking back to when I was younger, I wish there were some instances which I could go back and thank my parents for teaching me that I don’t always need the newest phone or the most expensive clothes, but I need to be proud of the person I am first and then everything I have will compliment me for me, not the price tag.

It is a foreign concept to think that happiness comes from inside. People take the easy way out by human nature. Materials are the easiest and fastest way to gain happiness which is why shopping has become a therapy option. It reflects short-term happiness, which allows you to see that object and be able to associate it with the moment when you were happy, sounds simple enough right? Wrong. This is the exact concept which is forcing the youth in today’s society to feel that there is always something missing.

Depression went from a statistic to a commonality because people are missing the true identity of happiness. The feeling you get when are laughing until your stomach hurts, when you see someone after years and you finally reunite, when your dog runs up to you and cuddles like there is no tomorrow. These are the moments of true happiness which are taken for granted and replaced with thin paper which has become a source that defines our culture.

Take one hour a day to look around at the people, the sky, the stars, and all the things around you which create your happiness. That is how you can redirect your own life and bring back the dreams you had as a kid.

Cover Image Credit: Tishtrya Cama

Popular Right Now

Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

6 Years Ago I Would've Laughed If Someone Told Me I'd Get Up On A Stage, And 13 Other Things I Never Thought I'd Do

It's amazing how much has changed in just a few years.


1. Be in a relationship

I spent many years thinking I wasn't the kind of girl guys want to date. Typical, I know, but it was a very strong feeling that took a lot of time and growing self-confidence to overcome. I also could never envision a future for myself; all I would ever see when I tried is a black hole.

Now, I've been dating an amazing guy for nearly three and a half years. Being with him makes me very happy and has helped my self-confidence grow.

2. Dye my hair

I recently partially dyed my hair purple, which was something I had wanted to do for years. It's been an amazing confidence booster and tenth grade me NEVER would have imagined I'd do something like this. Then again, there's probably people now who never thought I'd do something like dye my hair.

3. Go to a legitimate college

I attended a very religious, all-girls private day school for most of my life. The school's focus was more on religious topics than secular ones, so I honestly didn't know if I'd go to a secular, "real" college. Most girls attended Jewish colleges or the local Jewish girls' college over secular colleges. The school also focused more on prepping their senior students to attend seminary in Israel than going to college right from high school. But I knew I wanted to attend a secular college, despite having no ideas for a major.

That was six years ago, sophomore year of high school. I switched high schools the following year, started taking more intense classes, and got on a better path. I also now had access to a college adviser and educational staff that could help me truly learn what I excelled at, what I could go on to major in. I'm currently in my senior year of college, and there are still days where I sit back and think, "I can't believe I'm here."

4. Find something to major in...

I had no real idea what I wanted to do when I began college. Unlike my classmates, who had had the opportunities and much more time than me to decide what they (at least initially) wanted to major in, I had zero ideas. I spent freshman year undecided, and decided about halfway through second semester on a major: Electronic Media and Film, audio focus. I had a strong relationship with music and decided I wanted to learn how to make something so important to me.

5. ...and switch majors.

This can be the hardest thing to do. You spend so much time thinking you know exactly what you want to do. You get so set on this one plan, this one major, only for it to be turned upside down when reality hits--you just can't do it. Switching majors was hard for me, but I don't regret my decision. My new major is a much better fit for my existing skills, and I am thankful now for the learning experience switching majors gave me.

6. Find things I love to do

For many years, all I did was read or draw. But over the last few years, I've learned there's so much more I enjoy doing. I learned that I absolutely love being onstage. I discovered I have a knack for marketing, and that I'm a damn good writer.

7. Become a crazy dog person

My family adopted our fur baby, Delilah, in April 2015 and I've been a crazy dog person ever since. I'd hazard about 90% of the pics on my phone are of her because she's so freaking adorable.

8. Write publicly about my struggles and life experiences

I've typically been a very private person. So to look back at my year plus some's worth of articles for Odyssey and see just how open, honest and emotional I've been on a public platform is crazy. But it also creates a sense of pride, like look how far you've come, how far you've grown. I am proud of every word I wrote, and I'm not ashamed or regretful of a single word. It also helps that writing those articles was insanely therapeutic and helpful for my mental health.

9. Do theater

The first time I saw a high school theater show, I immediately knew I wanted to be on that stage. Say what you want about high school theater, and maybe the show wasn't as great as I remember. But I didn't know any better since this was the first time I'd ever seen a theater show. I was hooked instantly.

But we're talking about a girl who used to have massive stage fright. Who hated singing or performing in front of others out of fear of being judged. And yet, so ironically, dreamed of doing theater and being onstage. The former isn't true anymore, and each production I've done has helped so much.

10. Have real friends

I've had more than my fair share of bad friends who have come and gone through my life. It's so easy to be negative about those experiences, but I will say that at the end of the day, I learned what I need in a real friend--and what are red flags for a bad friend.

I met my current friends through either theater or my boyfriend, and they are amazing. They make me laugh so hard my stomach hurts, and every time together is a good time. The best part is even though we don't see each other too often or keep up constant discussion in our group chat, we all still know that we're a solid friend group. We don't need to be in contact almost all the time just to prove we're friends. (We're also really bad at taking pics together, so this shot isn't even everyone *facepalm.*)

11. Work an internship...or three.

I've had two internships to date, and I've just begun my third (and PAID) internship. It's been so enlightening to work in environments related to my major and actually see what I could do after college.

12. Live in my own apartment

I had an off-campus apartment with a former friend in my sophomore year of college. It was a major learning experience, and one I never would have dreamed of having just a few years prior.

13. Discover my sexuality

I grew up with no knowledge of or ever hearing the term LGBTQ or any sub-strain of that until around eleventh grade. (Like I said, all-girls religious school. We didn't even have a sex ed class.) Once I learned about it, particularly bisexuality, I spent quite a few years pondering the term. It wasn't until last year that I realized and began acknowledging that I'm bisexual. (And yes, I'm a bi girl dating a guy. No, it's not me "picking a side" or "technically a straight relationship." Move on.)

14. See a show on Broadway

I got to see my first Broadway show in February 2018. It was Wicked, and it was one of the most magical and captivating experiences of my life. I'll be seeing Kinky Boots next month, and I just know it will be just as amazing.

Related Content

Facebook Comments