Every seven-year-old girl has a dream. Some want to be princesses, a few may want to be cowgirls or pop stars. Me? I wanted to be a dog. Every time someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I immediately, without even thinking, said that I wanted to be a dog. It seemed strange and unrealistic to aspire to be a dog, but a girl can dream.
As I entered my junior year of high school, I was asked the same question by one of my teachers: What do you want to be when you grow up? The answer was not quite as simple as it seemed back when I was five, and somehow I could not seem to come up with an answer. A million thoughts popped into my head. What did I want to be? Did I want to be a doctor? Maybe a teacher? I felt like traveling back in time to when I could have a million dreams and I would not have to choose just one. As I slowly came back to reality, my thoughts became clear. I have always been so passionate about so many things, but it was finally time to discover who I truly want to be.
Seeking some sort of comfort, I asked my friend Emily what she wanted to do when she grew up. She then proceeded to tell me her life plan about how she wanted to go to Georgetown University, and then to medical school to become a doctor. "Really?" I asked her. "Do you think that's really going to happen?" She nodded, completely confidant.
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I felt as though all of my friends knew exactly where they were headed. I felt so lost. I spent long hours thinking about what I really wanted to major in, where I wanted to go, or just find some sense of who I truly was. College had always seemed so far off in the distance, but I suddenly realized that it was less than a year away.
As I sat down to discuss college with my parents, I was faced with the exact same, dreaded question. I finally poured my heart out and told them what had been bothering me ever since I was asked that question. I expected them to be disappointed by the fact that I had no idea what I wanted to do, but instead they looked me with a smile and said that they expected nothing else but for me to be undecided. My parents had been through the college process twice with my older siblings, and they somehow knew exactly what I would say. They understood that I always wanted to try new things and explore my options before I chose what was right for me.
During the summer before my senior year, I decided that I wanted to set goals for myself. My biggest goal of that summer was to become the captain of my soccer team. I decided that I was going to do everything that I could to help lead this team and show that I had what it takes to be the captain. I set small goals for myself everyday that would help me achieve this larger one, and I followed through with every single one of them. I vowed to invite the team on runs, have practices over the summer, and just bond together before the season started. When I finally put my smaller goals together together, it was all worth it.
High school has been an important time for me to take the required classes and pull my hair out trying to get through chemistry or trigonometry, but I look at college, or rather, I hope college is a time of self-discovery. During the next four years, I hope to connect with new people, discover myself through education and experience, and attain a deeper sense of who I am and what I'm capable of.