Growing up, most kids have this grand idea of becoming an astronaut, a cowboy, the president: all possible, but very unlikely. Why do we never hear teenagers or young adults say these things? Why is it that our dreams from childhood change? Is it because we have the realization that our old dreams were too far fetched? Or is it because we let the world beat us down with words of discouragement, until we feel like maybe our dreams were wrong? Maybe it’s because we don’t feel like we can achieve our dreams at all.
When we first get into grade school, we learn the basics. Writing, colors, letters, numbers, etc. We learn all these new things so fast and in such large quantities, that our young new brains can’t help but be creative. We have all this new knowledge and so our imaginations run wild with ideas that we know very little about. But this doesn’t stop us from believing that it’s something that we can achieve. Kids don’t ever decide they want to go to outer space, and then back out on it because they realize that the science classes they need in college will be too hard. Every thought you have as a child has no limit, no filter, and is pure in nature. Because of this, we make big plans for our future selves, when we are children.
Choosing to be an astronaut or the president is still a very grand goal, even for a young adult. But dream jobs such as being a rock star, or a great artist, are well within the grasp of most young people. However, with the decline in the economy as well as growing rates of unemployment, dream jobs are much harder to work towards. With both of these things playing a huge role in school systems across the country, students often don’t get the chance to pursue their dream job. Funding is cut, people can’t afford schooling to become teachers, people who do become teachers don’t make much. Because of these things, more creative classes falling by the wayside, leaving room for only the core curriculum, students lack the drive and initiative to learn new things that reach outside the box of what they learn in school.
Then we hit college and adulthood. It’s time for us to choose one or two things to specialize in, in hopes that it will get us a job after we graduate. So we work really hard and graduate with this diploma that says we know stuff, and we enter into the real world. Not very far after this, we learn the cruel fact that, most of the time, the jobs related to our degree are sparse, are to hard to get, or don’t exist altogether. But because we are “adults” now, we need money and food to survive. So we accept the fact that we can’t get the job we wanted, and we just settle for something far less than what we thought of when we were kids.
We live in a society that whittles us down with discouragement, lacks opportunities for people to grow, and teaches us that all we need is money and a house to be happy. We think we need to be able to pay our bills, and have a large house, and have nice things to feel accomplished and content. And we never realize that by doing this, we’ve abandoned our dreams along the way. We need to realize that it’s those dreams that push us further, and that truly make us happy.