The Daily Illini

Follow your dreams, despite the odds

By Claire Hettinger

For all the dreamers graduating in May, this one’s for you. I’m glad you have decided to believe in your talents and dreams; you will make the world a better place.

Now, listen: You’re going to be OK. I know the world likes to tell college students that unless they get a degree in math, science or business, they aren’t going to get a job. But let’s face it, all the majors would not be around if there were no jobs available.

For all the people who experience disrespect in majors like English, history and painting, I’m sure people love to tell you that your major means nothing in the real world unless you’re going to be a teacher. But guess what? Your major means just as much as anyone else’s. All anyone has is what they’ve been able to experience and learn.

You’re a smart kid, or you wouldn’t be at the University, and you sure wouldn’t have graduated from it. Everyone else who is trying to get a job is the same as you. The trick is showing everyone how and why you are better. Just think — everything you’ve been through at this University, everything you’ve learned and achieved, we’ve all gathered an amazing set of skills that the world needs. But you would not have picked this course of study if you didn’t have a dream for a different world.

An education is only what you make of it, and a degree is just a piece of paper unless you can sell it to employers. It is the same thing with these jobs. If you try hard and show people how talented you are, then a good job will come to you. You may have to work to find the perfect job — the job of your dreams — but there is one out there and it’s waiting for you.

Remember that money isn’t everything, especially at first. You don’t need to find the perfect job right away. Part of the reason a dream job is so wonderful is because it is better than something else that you’ve been through before. Artists and dreamers have always had a harder go of it, but you didn’t pick this path and it’s not your fault your talents fall under a major that does not fit society’s definition of an easy life.

You chose a major that the world needs even if people won’t admit it. We need people who will share their ideas and their beautiful mind with the rest of us. We need someone to remind us of the humanity and beauty that can be lost in our digital age.

Believe in the beauty of your dreams, as you got into this line of learning and living because of some passion that led you here. Now is the time to really chase your dreams and see what the world has to offer you.

Don’t put your dreams off for later because time goes fast and before you know it, you’ll be 20 years in at some company, and your novel or your artwork or whatever you were going to create will still be just a long-hidden and dusty memory that got swallowed up by responsibility and worry.

You’ve gone through so much to complete your “useless” degree and you’ve put up with snide comments for years. Now is when it really counts. Now is when you can look at the world and realize that there is a good life waiting for you. Sure, a grown-up scary life, but a good one all the same.

You’ve believed in your dream for this long. Graduation is the time to start living it, not to give up.

Claire is a sophomore in Media. [email protected]

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