Opinion | Everyone should live their dreams

By Noah Nelson, Senior Columnist

In recent years, mostly during my time at the University, I have developed a new habit. Every time someone asks me how I’m doing, I respond with the same answer: “I’m living the dream!”
Some people have asked me why I say it and most of the time, I tell them it’s how I’m feeling. I’m always in a great mood so it’s the best answer to give. Lately, the phrase has taken a whole new meaning.
Whatever it is, everyone should live their dreams. No matter how big or small they are, they make life so much better. I should know, I’m living mine now.
Four years ago, college was just around the corner. It was time to visit various campuses, apply for the ones I enjoyed and wait to see what happens. After visiting numerous colleges with my parents, none of them felt right. When I visited the University, everything changed.
I fell in love from the minute I stepped foot on campus. The more I explored and learned, the more I knew this was the school for me. It’s difficult to say what did it for me, but at the end of the day, there was nothing wrong with the University.
My only problem was being accepted.
I was a great student with adequate ACT and SAT scores. I was involved in a myriad of extracurricular activities in high school. But there were other hurdles to cross.
Many high school teachers didn’t think I could be accepted. It was too big of a school for a small-town kid. The academic advisor suggested I attend community college for two years, then maybe consider the University after that. These people were crushing down on my dreams; I couldn’t let that happen.
When my acceptance letter arrived in the mail, I felt like Harry Potter receiving his letter to Hogwarts. Everything I had worked for had finally paid off. I was going to attend not only a Big Ten university, but one of the best in the country.
Presently, it’s almost the end of junior year at the University. In the last three years, I have served as a senior columnist for The Daily Illini, as a member of Block, Orange Krush, Star Course Concert Committee, Society of Professional Journalists and was a noontime performer at the Illini Union. I have established countless, genuine friends on campus. It’s been a college experience like no other.
Attending the University has always been a dream of mine. Now, that dream is a reality. I knew what I wanted and did everything I could to make my dream come true, and you can do the same.
Following your dreams may seem so far out of reach. Nevertheless, they’re much closer than you think. Whatever they may be, you can do anything you set your mind to. When you do, life will be vehemently worth living.
If anyone is there to stop you, they shouldn’t be in your life anyway. Who cares what anyone says — it’s your dreams, not theirs. Do what you want to do in life. With hard work, dedication and determination, your dreams will also materialize.
Who knows, maybe someday soon you’ll be saying you’re living the dream. It feels good declaring it, and I guarantee it will feel sensational when you’re able to assert a good life as well.

Noah is a junior in Media.
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