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Lifestyles

October 6, 2012

On the Go: It's important to follow your dreams

“You can be anything you want to be” is one of childhood’s mantras. 

Most teachers ask their students what they want to be when they grow up, and every student answers with his or her dreams. 

What changes between your second-grade career project and picking your major sophomore year at college that makes our choices so different?

Money. You probably don’t have enough money in the bank to pay for your Ivy League tuition, you probably don’t have enough money to be invited to Prince William’s birthday party, and you probably don’t have enough money to follow Lady Gaga’s tour bus across the country. 

You can check rich lawyer, princess and pop star off of your possible career list.

My sister has been in love with Boston since we were toddlers on the swan boats. Now that she is a senior in high school, most of her small-talk conversations revolve around her future. My sister wants to be a pediatrician. Whenever she says, “Boston University,” people laugh and roll their eyes. People throw around ideas about tuition, debt and “maybe for grad school.” She usually smiles and nods. Their words do not make a dent in the little girl who played in the grass of Boston Common and knew where she wanted to go to school.

Too many people go after their dreams only to let their degrees fade on a piece of paper. There are engineers working in the Kmart customer service department. There are people with degrees in English literature working at McDonald’s. There are parents leaving school 10 credits short of their degrees to save money on day care.

I want to be a writer and a teacher when I’m older. People tell me all the time that I’ll have no money and no future. My favorite was being told that I’d end up on welfare. Despite this, I’m still the little girl who fell in love with words and history. I remember going to the library and finding the spot where my last name would fit.

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