Martin Luther King said, “take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
We all need dreams. They motivate us, and may propel us onto great things. However dreams can also restrict or distract us if they are too rigid. The power of an idealized future self and all the success we feel we need to achieve, can often prevent us from taking the next steps in our real life, in the here and now. Whilst we are busy dreaming about our destination, we forget to look around and enjoy the journey.
Many students can experience periods of real distress when they feel that they are not achieving their dreams, or when they realize that the dreams they held are no longer valuable to them; but either way, you are still on the journey.
What if you don’t have dreams? Don’t put pressure on yourself to get one! Just remember, you do not need to know the destination to go on the journey.
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You have come to university to experience all that it has to offer, not just to gain a good degree and job at the end. Remember that it is now that you have control over. If you get the best out of now then your dreams should take care of themselves, whether it is achieving those of your childhood, or pursuing the dreams that you have developed along the way.
So pursue your dreams, but hold them lightly, be flexible, and have faith in yourself. Many things will happen in the next few years, and having the courage to change direction, to let go of old dreams and to make space for new ones is a challenge, but a valuable one. Don’t be wedded to your dreams. Be free to respond to the person you are now, and the person you will become—not just the person you have been in the past, or the person you thought you should become.