Reach for the stars, but how far?

My dream when I was a little girl was to be a princess. Then when I turned seven I wanted to be on broadway, and then a couple years later I realized I couldn’t sing so I decided I wanted to be an actress. Later, when I got to high school, I discovered my love for writing but I also had a passion for film and decided I wanted to be a screenwriter. Now, nearly 18, I’ve found a love for understanding and helping people, and I want to be a child psychologist. Although my lens of what I want to do with my life has changed drastically, every single dream I’ve had has created a dent in my character.

I asked five of my senior peers to explore their past and current dreams, and discuss the changes.

 But, what does this all show? And, why does it really matter?

Well, firstly, out of the classmates I interviewed, all five of their dreams have changed. And all of them believe that their dream changing is for the greater good.  I do agree with this, however, something that worries me is the simple fact that, as people age, their childhood dreams become more and more realistic to the point where a dream career isn’t really a dream anymore; it can even be a nightmare.

“I think it’s important to never lose that sense of childhood wonder — to know that you can always dream for the rest of your life.”

Malissa Takacs

Childhood dreams aren’t a great indicator of what you’ll be when you’re an adult.  That being said, this age of young adulthood exposes us to our passions; these dreams we should stick with. The Guardian article “When I grow up, I want to be… Childhood dream jobs,” written by Frances Booth, touches on this point in claiming: “It is useful … to look back at your life from teenager onwards and consider what you enjoy doing.” It is important to go through the trials of finding what you love to do, as it is through these trials that we find our niche, and that is what we need to stick with.

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Senior Kathryn Wilson reliving her childhood dream of being a singer/actress. Photo by Rosie Hogan

As you grow older you lose that sense of imagination that children gain from living in the real world, with bills and rent. But sometimes working a job you don’t love causes you to sacrifice your happiness. In his article, Frances Booth continues: “Some 69% of 3,000 parents surveyed admitted they had failed to follow their dream career path. But as they support their children in reaching for their (very different) dream careers, one generation on, parents said they rated job satisfaction and happiness as more than twice as important as wealth.” That is to say: most parents believe that following a personal dream is more important than money, but a majority of those surveyed didn’t act on their dream.

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Atulya Venkataraman writing an equation on the board.  He once dreamed of being a mathematician. Photo by Rosie Hogan.

So what does this all mean? Well, reach for the stars; Dream big! Those dreams might change over time and that is a good thing. Just don’t lose sight of that childhood imagination and tenacity.

High school counselor Ms. Takacs puts it perfectly: “I think it’s important to never lose that sense of childhood wonder — to know that you can always dream for the rest of your life. Dreams take shape over time and different experiences in life shape them. Even when some of your childhood dreams don’t come true, it’s nice to know that you can keep dreaming and aiming towards new things forever and ever.”

Author: Rosie Hogan

Rosie Hogan is a senior and one of the co editors of The Eye. Rosie has lived in Singapore for the majority of her life but goes back home to the states for her summers. When she’s not busy writing you can find her eating grilled cheese sandwiches, jamming out to Taylor Swift and watching Criminal Minds. She can be contacted at hogan33482@sas.edu.sg.

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