I​ ​feel​ ​compelled​ ​to​ ​write​ ​this​ ​because​ ​recently,​ ​a​ ​teacher​ ​of​ ​mine​ ​told​ ​me​ ​along​ ​with​ ​all​ ​the​ ​other students​ ​in​ ​class​ ​to​ ​not​ ​follow​ ​our​ ​dreams​ ​and​ ​passions,​ ​and​ ​instead​ ​follow​ ​opportunities.​ ​I understand​ ​that​ ​she​ ​was​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​prepare​ ​us​ ​for​ ​the​ ​reality​ ​that​ ​our​ ​dreams​ ​may​ ​not​ ​be​ ​financial
sources​ ​of​ ​income​ ​in​ ​the​ ​future​ ​and​ ​that​ ​we​ ​should​ ​have​ ​a​ ​plan,​ ​but​ ​something​ ​about​ ​it​ ​rubbed me​ ​the​ ​wrong​ ​way.​ ​Why​ ​was​ ​she​ ​telling​ ​a​ ​classroom​ ​full​ ​of​ ​fifteen-year-olds​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​dreaming?​ ​I think​ ​that​ ​the​ ​ultimate​ ​goal​ ​is​ ​to​ ​combine​ ​both​ ​your​ ​passion​ ​and​ ​career.

We,​ ​as​ ​teenagers,​ ​are​ ​finding​ ​ourselves.​ ​A​ ​common​ ​misconception​ ​is​ ​that​ ​we​ ​are​ ​running​ ​out​ ​of time​ ​to​ ​know​ ​everything​ ​about​ ​ourselves,​ ​and​ ​if​ ​you​ ​are​ ​still​ ​unsure​ ​of​ ​yourself,​ ​your​ ​life​ ​will simply​ ​fall​ ​apart.​ ​We​ ​don’t​ ​have​ ​to​ ​know​ ​everything.​ ​We​ ​have​ ​time.​ ​We​ ​have​ ​youth,​ ​and​ ​to​ ​me, that​ ​is​ ​the​ ​most​ ​important​ ​thing.​ ​“We​ ​don’t​ ​have​ ​to​ ​run.​ ​Let’s​ ​just​ ​walk.”​ ​These​ ​years​ ​are confusing,​ ​but​ ​what​ ​I​ ​make​ ​of​ ​it​ ​is​ ​that​ ​you​ ​don’t​ ​have​ ​to​ ​have​ ​everything​ ​figured​ ​out.​ ​But​ ​in​ ​order to​ ​find​ ​ourselves,​ ​we​ ​must​ ​experience​ ​things​ ​on​ ​our​ ​own,​ ​learn​ ​what​ ​we​ ​like​ ​and​ ​dislike.

We​ ​all​ ​have​ ​our​ ​dreams.​ ​But​ ​I​ ​think​ ​that​ ​as​ ​you​ ​grow​ ​up,​ ​you​ ​can​ ​become​ ​more​ ​specific​ ​about that​ ​dream,​ ​and​ ​from​ ​there,​ ​shape​ ​your​ ​life​ ​around​ ​it.​ ​My​ ​passion​ ​is​ ​the​ ​arts.​ ​I​ ​love​ ​artistic expression​ ​including​ ​visual​ ​art,​ ​fashion,​ ​music,​ ​dance,​ ​film,​ ​you​ ​name​ ​it.​ ​And​ ​I​ ​can​ ​tell​ ​I’ve​ ​been growing​ ​up​ ​because​ ​now​ ​that​ ​have​ ​I​ ​more​ ​choices​ ​when​ ​it​ ​comes​ ​to​ ​school​ ​courses,​ ​I​ ​can experiment​ ​with​ ​what​ ​I​ ​like.​ ​Now​ ​I ​am​ ​taking​ ​a​ ​communications​ ​technology​ ​course​ ​and​ ​I​ ​can​ ​see myself​ ​working​ ​in​ ​communications​ ​in​ ​the​ ​future,​ ​which​ ​incorporates​ ​my​ ​love​ ​of​ ​art.​ ​I​ ​know​ ​that​ ​if, as​ ​I​ ​lay​ ​on​ ​my​ ​deathbed,​ ​I​ ​looked​ ​back​ ​and​ ​saw​ ​that​ ​I​ ​had​ ​not​ ​pursued​ ​my​ ​passions​ ​in​ ​life,​ ​I would​ ​feel​ ​like​ ​I​ ​had​ ​never​ ​realized​ ​my​ ​potential.​ ​And​ ​that​ ​seems​ ​like​ ​the​ ​greatest​ ​tragedy​ ​of​ ​all.