It was a Wednesday afternoon, and I found myself in my high school counselors office looking down to the floor of the small dark room. I wore a puzzled look as I thought hard about the question I had just been asked: “Well, you’re classes should mirror what you want for your future. What career plans do you have in mind?” Fashion designer I said to myself. But I had given up on saying that ever again to my counseler, as the school just…doesn’t believe in their students as much as they should. Even if they truly think that not one of us could succeed: why crush our dreams before we even take the first step? Before we even attempt?
Well I’m also interested in becoming a lawyer… I say blandly. I’m not really interested in that career choice, but I see him pay more attention suddenly. He sits up I his chair, and scrolls down my schedule he had on his laptop.
“I suggest you take some AP history courses. In the future, you can end up saving some money…and I see you already have that set up. I suggest French rather than the art course you mentioned earlier.” I was crushed. I really wanted that art course and it seemed like I couldn’t get through to him to take the one class I really wanted next year.
Well can I take art as Night School? I ask, almost sounding too excited for the course. “Uh no, we only have night school for the real courses” Seriously? Real courses? They’re all real courses! I leave the counselors’ room with something short of a mumbled goodbye and a half-heated thank you.
Now, sure that course might not have been needed to pursue a career that I wanted, but it was something that I was sure I wanted, but wasn’t allowed to get. The counselor actually looked genuinely concerned as if I would never make it. I struggled to listen as he talked me through his career suggestions I clearly wasn’t interested in.
Now, I’m no expert at all, and I haven’t experienced enough of life to tell you what you should do, but I do know this for a fact: I don’t want to be stuck in a classroom for 12 years. Graduate. Go to another school for 4+ years. Graduate. And then get a job for 40! And then? Retire. What part of that sounds fun? To anyone?! I don’t want a boring desk job, and everyone always says that life is to short to be doing what we don’t enjoy, so what are we all doing?
I’m always so inspired by these success stories of individuals who are not only happy with their lives, but are being productive and doing something with themselves that makes them fell like they’re helping their communities or even countries. Mine is much simpler, though. I want to design. It can be any other professor for you. Singing? Dancing? Anything. If you can’t go one day without thinking about that passion then guess what you should do? Follow it. Don’t let anyone stop you because guess what else? That passion is called your calling. So go prove to not only those around you that you can do it, like I want to prove to the counselor, or my family: but do it to prove to yourself. To prove that you are good enough. You are adequate. You are original and unique and you have something that no one else has, and so you make sure that you don’t sell yourself short because it’s a cold hard fact that every single individual had something to offer to this world.
Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, because we all know that no moment will ever be it. Take what you have, and work to the top until you’ve make it. Because if there is one thing I know that is true: If you NEVER give up, you WILL eventually succeed. So keep trying. I will too. Let’s make our dreams come true together.