Sincerely, Senior: A Dream of My Own

Sincerely%2C+Senior%3A+A+Dream+of+My+Own

A recent speaker at Hockaday left many students feeling inferior. In her presentation, she insinuated some that their dreams were subpar and as I watched my classmates pour out of the assembly with worried looks on their faces, I felt the need to validate their dreams and to remind them of their worth.

We are all searching for someone to tell us that we are making the right decisions. They say life is full of choices, but I believe choices are full of life and every choice we bite into feeds us a bit of life. So, choose something and see where it takes you.

I do not want to go to an Ivy League School and that is okay.

I have friends who want to go to an Ivy League School and that is okay, too. “Pick a college based on how much you love it, not on the university’s acceptance rate,” a friend once told me. And, I followed that advice.

Years ago, I fell in love with a private university just 100 miles from my hometown and I never looked back. I felt like I was home the first time I stepped on campus, and I knew that I belonged right there. I have friends who took the same advice that I did, and they fell in love with an Ivy League School. Their dreams are equally as valuable as mine.

Obviously, they will be surrounded by peers who want to learn, as will I. The speaker mentioned that Ivy League schools were special because they were a place to meet future leaders, and she is right. Hockaday is also a place where we are surrounded by many of the influential people of our generation. In fact, one could argue that every educational institution is home to people who will impact the future. Isn’t that the point of education?

I want to be a mother and that is okay.

I know that I want to hold a sweet baby in my arms and know that it is my job to protect them, love them and teach them. To complicate the situation, I would love to have a career and have kids. But if the price of having kids and taking a year off with them is, as the speaker mentioned, a wage decrease of almost 15 percent, I am willing to pay the price.

I understand if women are not willing to sacrifice a percentage of the wage that they work so hard for and earnestly deserve. I am frustrated that these situations still exist today but if a wage deduction is the price I have to pay to have a kid call me “Mommy” and run to my arms when they are scared, then you can dock my pay now. I am willing to pay the price and I have friends who are not, and that is okay.

I want to write about serious issues and defend people’s rights, not study biomedical science or petroleum engineering, and that is okay.

Many of my classmates would prefer to work hundreds of math problems over writing a thesis-driven essay, and that is okay, too. Something deep inside my brain makes me run from the numbers and straight to the books. Truth is, no matter how hard STEM is pushed at me, I will never be inclined to play with numbers or build objects. Honestly, if I attempted to thrust myself into these career paths, I would be doing something that I did not love and turning my back on my passions. Labor that is not enjoyed is generally performed at a lower level so, odds are I would be making less of an impact on the world.

Many of my friends will go on to pursue incredible careers in STEM fields and that is great. Perhaps, I will even feature their newest discovery in a future article. If the world were full of engineers, all engineers would be broke and if the world were full of journalists, all journalists would be broke. The world needs the scientists and the journalists, the artists and the lawyers, but most of all, the world needs passionate people. It doesn’t take an Ivy League school to achieve this.

I want to be me,

Even if that means being a non-Ivy League attendee, a journalist who struggles to calculate the polarity of molecules and walks around with a diaper bag all the time.  I just want to be me and that is okay. So, be yourself and know that no dream is silly if it belongs to you.

Sincerely,

Senior

Sincerely, Senior is a column focusing on senior experiences and is written weekly by Castoff Editor Austria Arnold.