Make a difference regardless of obstacles

Students should dare to dream realistically and plan their future with hope in mind

Dellanira Alcauter

When did we stop believing in ourselves? At what age did we lose faith that we could become anything we wanted to? When we were 5, we wanted to be astronauts, ballerinas, police officers, even the president of the United States.

And now, when it’s time to realistically decide what we want to do with our lives, we’re scared, thinking we are not capable enough to pursue our dreams, even if they still are realistic. I understand that not everyone will become an astronaut, and that there is only one president at any given time. But that doesn’t mean that we have to put ourselves down or feel that we are not capable of achieving greatness.

It is quite the opposite.

Because only a few of those positions are available, we should try harder, apply ourselves if that is truly what we want. And if not, then we need to use that same passion and drive elsewhere, open our minds to new majors, possibilities we never even knew existed. There are so many career choices and paths to take in life.

We don’t all have to be actors, athletes, or singers to say we’ve “made it big.” There are other ways to make a difference. Society tends to glamorize positions like these, but that doesn’t mean that those are the only ones that matter.

Do what makes you happy — what will bring satisfaction and meaning to your life. Talking to several of my friends about this subject, I noticed that a hopeless attitude has grown. Maybe even a bit in myself, too. Applying for colleges has become increasingly competitive, which causes many of us to feel as if we are not good enough to be accepted.

I’ve even been told by some adults on campus that I am not going to get accepted to certain schools I’ve applied to. Hearing these comments brings me down, but I just tell myself that I have to work twice as hard as everyone else. Even if it means frustrating days and sleepdeprived nights, it’s within my reach.

And maybe they are right. I probably won’t be going to an Ivy-league school, but that’s okay with me. Because it isn’t necessarily where you go, but rather what you do with where you go that counts.

And I know that wherever I choose to go, I will make a difference in my own way, I will do whatever I can to contribute to the community that shaped who I am. Maybe not in the glamorous way.

I know I will not find the cure to cancer or donate thousands of dollars, but I can certainly help plant a tree or tutor a student. Often times I hear students saying that they are not capable of being great because of where they come from, because they’re from Stockton.

Just because Stagg doesn’t have tablets for every student or the newest textbooks doesn’t mean that we can’t be great.

We can. We can achieve the same amount of greatness as the students in
richer schools do.

We shouldn’t feel sorry for ourselves because we don’t have the money they do, but instead allow that to be our drive. Drive us to pursue our dreams. It’s going to feel amazing when we succeed and look back and
think to ourselves, “Despite where we came from and all the