By: Emily Linginfelter ~Copy Editor~
“Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken winged bird
That cannot fly.”
These words by the American writer, Langston Hughes, were added into my list of favorite quotes when I listened to the poem during a high school graduation speech in 2013. For a while, I inaccurately substituted the term “dreams” with “expectations.” When you’re roughly 20 years old and still comforted under the wings of home, it is easy to have those dreams guided by others. After all, many factors such as family, friends and worship wire your actions toward serving the community.
Through experiencing college and a 180-degree shift in majors, I firmly believe that higher education is an exception. It is the rare situation where decisions ought to be based on personal interest. If you choose to ignore sparks of inspiration, the misguided actions can potentially lead to career burnouts and regret. As such, defining the purpose of an academic dream is more complicated than just picking the most logical option and flying with it. Reflecting on Hughes’ words, what if those dreams are heavy weights, preventing us from soaring into full flight?
This theme seemed to resonate well with one of my first-year expectations: I spent all of high school planning ahead and imagining a future of bedside care and needles. The doors and guidance were all there, and the final steps to becoming a BSN nurse ready for action. Lo and behold, that steady self-assurance of having a life put together chipped away after merely two semesters in the nursing program.
Many people still ask why I decided to change. “Did you do it for an easier college experience?” “Which class bogged you down?” Or better yet, “Why would you ever want to leave a promising career?” There is never a clear way to describe the reasoning, but something always felt incomplete. Sure, I had a drive to succeed, but another big component was missing. It was the passion. The clichéd answer I give to these questions is that I allowed my heart to guide rather than my head. The possibilities from this decision continue to flourish, and I can say that I absolutely love the work that I do.
In my opinion the greatest inhibition to positive change is a senseless longing for consistency. We persistently hold onto the wrong things for extended periods of time and become troubled with the thoughts of “wasted effort.” What a shame that society teaches us to associate switches with quitting, because more often than not, such actions are needed for overall wellness and contentment.
Other triggers may prevent you from pursuing an original dream – physical, mental or emotional. No matter what the circumstances may be, it is okay to make adjustments to life when your values don’t align with a certain role or situation. If this weren’t the case, the U.S. Constitution would lack amendments and the Catholic Church would never call Vatican councils. If I failed to switch from nursing to public relations, my obsessions with writing and capturing stories wouldn’t have overflowed from my major into other areas such as writing for the Newswire.
These little bits and pieces of advice have been collected through personal experience and Anthony Robbins’s book, “Awaken the Giant Within.” I encourage you to explore and incorporate your own interests into a career. Take the journey in small increments and over time you’ll rise to heights where you can look down and have a better view of the whole picture. I promise you the final product will kindly reflect hard work and passion, just as long as you remember to take the necessary leap of faith.