Live Your Dream

PC: Levi Ventura

PC: Levi Ventura


If there’s anything you should know about me, it’s that I love adventure. Trying new things, visiting new places and if that’s not possible, reading or watching videos about those adventures. I love planning trips, planning adventures of the places I’ll go and the things I’ll do. I also love to invision where and what I’ll be doing in 10 years.

I like to think of myself somewhere in Europe, living in one of those epic vans that are something like a tent and something like a house so I can move around from town to town. I picture myself writing for “Outside Magazine,” working night shifts as a flight nurse and going on crazy adventures like snow skiing in the Swiss Alps or racing down the mountains in Chamonix, France on my bike.

However, a lot of times I find myself feeling guilty about what I want to do or looking in the rearview mirror at my dreams instead of driving towards them. You see, my mom has this picturesque idea of where her kids will be in 10 years, who they’ll marry and how they’ll raise their families.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my mom, but sometimes I feel like I’m living her dream instead of mine. In her mind, I’ll still be living in North Carolina, about 10 minutes from her home, working as a nurse in the nearby Adventist hospital while she takes care of my three or four kids. While I’m sure this would be great for some people, it’s not for me.

A lot of times, I think we tend to get caught up in other people’s dreams. Whether it’s our parents, grandparents, friends or people we don’t even like but somehow need to impress, we find ourselves living their dreams instead of our own.

Our college years and the first few years out of college are some of the most important in our lives because they significantly shape who we are and what we’ll be doing for the majority of our lives. We shouldn’t be living other people’s dreams because that won’t make us happy. We’ll wake up 40 years from now and see all the things we missed out on. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my life to be full of regrets, full of all the things I wish I’d done. I challenge us all to take the path, not towards what others expect, but towards our dreams.

Lena Wilkie is a sophomore studying international rescue and relief.