As a wise, and probably not sober Shia LaBeouf once said, "Don't let your dreams be dreams."
Indeed Mr. LaBeouf, indeed.
Although elementary, this sentiment has grown on me in the past year. By entering college and acknowledging various levels of drive, experience and wonder from hundreds of other students, I've come to recognize just how crucial this span of time in my life is.
These are the years that you solidify your identity. These are the years you realize your dreams. These are the years you find your path.
I may be talking nonsense to the hundreds who don't know what they want to major in or can't picture where they are gonna be in five years, but to anyone with any inkling of a passion or interest, this is the time to spread your wings.
What I mean by this is that we have no more excuses to wait to be great. We have exhausted our brains with thoughts of doubt and what-ifs, causing us to feel that we may not be worthy of our dreams.
We can go on thinking this way, reciting a pessimistic "what if" for any opportunity in front of us, but what if we are actually good enough? What if you have the talent to be special in your field? What if you're smart enough, driven enough or better yet, have the potential to be your wildest dream?
As these next few years roll by in what will seem like seconds, we have to jump on the opportunities that present themselves without the fear of failing.
There are too many of us that squander our time waiting for that perfect storm of timing, relevance and idealistic situations of an unpaid internship, job or club. The thing is that although it's nice to have these thoughts, we have to remember that we live in a world that will keep turning without us. Meaning, we have to look at the shots life gives us and approach them with an open mind, or else we become stuck waiting for that perfect storm to roll by.
This means signing up for that outreach program you were always curious about, trying something new you may have no experience in, but are interested in, and maybe even getting a few rejection letters here or there. The point is, even though it's terrifying, you have to find the will to try to grow in an era of your life that is probably the most challenging you've faced.
It's so cliché to even write, but the more you throw yourself out of your comfort zone, the more benefits you will reap in your professional and personal life.
Think about it. What do you really have to lose? Pride? Some time? Well, newsflash: everyone does. You're going to have to adapt and make changes along the way. Slipping up the slope of finding your path is inevitable, so you might as well embrace that to make your picture, well perfect.
I write this article not only as a dreamer but as a dreamer who believes in the validity of anyone having a dream.
Passion can be one of the first things we lose as we grow through our adolescence because we can be approached by so many who tell a tale of how dreams are overrated and only serve the few.
Those people can shut up.
The only person that stands–and should stand–in your way of accomplishing your goals is you.
We each can hold ourselves accountable for how we get from point A to point B. That distance between may be met with different challenges, successes and unexpected turns along the way, but for those who stay true to their cause–their values, their passions–those are the ones who fight like hell to earn their dreams.
So why are we waiting? Why not be involved? Go out there and seek out the people, places and things that nurture and support where you want to go in life–no matter what that may be.
We are in a point of our lives where we shouldn't have to wait any longer to start ourselves on the path to our fulfillment. It shouldn't be about what your friends are doing, what your parents expect you to do or where you think "someone like you" belongs.
Take the chance, find your dreams without borders and most importantly: dare to believe that they can actually come true.