This is something that I used to struggle with often. Now, you either agree with me or are thinking, “it’s not that hard, you’re making a big deal out of it.” Well, trust me when I say that it’s more difficult than you think. You can think and dream of all the possible things you want out of your life, but not actually voicing what you want (and believe it or not), could be detrimental. And I’ll tell you why.

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All anyone wants in life is to be happy. Some people know exactly what they want, some people have no clue, and others (like me) knew exactly what they wanted and somehow managed to confuse themselves and all of a sudden look like this:

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Lately, I’ve been scared to tell people what I want to be and do when I grow up. Well, relatively grow up since I am an adult already (time moves way too fast). Part of it is because I don’t think I know what I want to do with my life because so many things have become fuzzy since going to college. I know adults always tell you that it’s okay that you don’t know what you want to do after college during freshman and sophomore year, but it seems sort of crazy when you have a completely different dream…

The reason, in the beginning, I said, “not actually voicing what you want, could be detrimental” was for two reasons. One, if you can’t even say out loud and acknowledge what you want then what’s the point of even having a dream and two, if you can’t tell other people what you want and be able to defend it, then you don’t really believe in it, and that’s the most important part.

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You can create as many dreams as you want in your head, but from what I’ve learned, actually speaking it just might help. I know this sounds really crazy (and things don’t just come to you, you have to put work into it), but this entire year I’ve been “speaking things into existence” and it actually worked.

At the beginning of the year, when I first found out about the Marvel 10 Year Sweepstakes and started entering in it (3 tweets and 3 posts on Instagram every day for a few weeks), no one thought I would win. And I mean absolutely no one. This includes all of my friends, my family, and even my own parents (they didn’t even believe it when I did when). But you know what I did, I never gave up. I remember constantly saying out loud, “I’m going to win the Marvel 10 year sweepstakes. I’m going to go to LA and go to the Infinity War movie premiere (plus all that other great stuff) and nothing is going to stop me or get in my way.” And maybe the fact that I did win seemed like pure luck, so I’ll give you a few more examples.

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During this exact time last year, I realized that my “dream school” was Penn State. I had visited it often during “Spend a Summer Day,” “Spend a Fall Day,” diversity weekend, and just regular tours. I had my heart set on this place and the only problem was, first, getting in and then, second, paying for it. Through a lot of hard work, I actually got in and I got a scholarship to go here (Millennium Scholars Program). Oh wait, I’m missing an important piece of the story. Hmmm maybe it’s that I kept saying over and over again, “I’m going to get into Penn State and I’m going there on a scholarship.

One last example for you. A couple of weeks ago (before Thanksgiving break), I applied to go on the Alternative Spring Break trip in the college of IST (all-expenses paid) to Austin, Texas. I distinctly remember really, really wanting to go and repeating a million times, “I’m going to ace this interview and I’m definitely going to Texas for free during spring break.” And guess who is going to Texas for break (*hint*hint* this girl!).

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Now, don’t go thinking that all you have to do is say it and it will come true. That’s not how life works and you and I both know that. You have to put in work for that dream to become a reality. I did 3 tweets on twitter and 3 posts on Instagram DAILY for WEEKS to win. I studied all throughout high school to get the GPA I had as well as my test scores and did essay after essay to get into Penn State and interview after gruesome interview to get into my scholarship program. I had to fill out an application, re-do my entire resume, talk to career services in my major’s college, and go through an interview process to get the opportunity to go on the spring break trip. Not to mention that I also prayed constantly about these things. I’m not saying you have to believe in God to get what you want and need in life, but that just happens to be my method. You need to figure out what works best for you.

My thing with saying what you want out loud is that once you say it over and over, you begin to believe it yourself. And that’s when you decide to work harder then you ever did before because that only gets you closer to making it into a reality.

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The other thing is you need to tell other people what you want and defend why you want it. And no, you shouldn’t have to defend your actions or your beliefs to anyone, but I am talking about in the case of family members and friend groups. I know too many people in high school that went to college trying to be something that they weren’t. Their parents told them that they needed to do a certain profession that, of course, would only make their parents happy and them, miserable. I always felt bad for those people every time I heard them say, “my dad wants me to do…” or “my mom says that this is the best job for me…”

I know it isn’t easy to stand up to your parents and I’ve been blessed to not have to deal with that because my parents are supportive in everything that I do (even this blog). One day I hope you gain the courage to do that because sometimes, the only one who knows what’s best for you is you. Your parents are projecting their hopes and dreams onto you and if you don’t like what they are suggesting, then you are going to hate your life and that can lead down a dark path that you don’t want to go on.

Before you can defend yourself, you need to believe that you even want to do it in the first place. Explore and look into what it is that you want before jumping the gun. I like to think of the song “Show no Regret” by Daniel Caesar when I think about what I want.

“Never forget, It’s what you asked for”
“But at what cost, What am I giving up?”
“Show no regret”

No one ever said that your dreams were going to be easy to obtain. A wise person once said, “if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”

So what are my dreams? You’ll find out in due time when they come true. I have a better question though, what are yours?

Signing Off,