To Follow Your Dreams, Not Anyone Else’s

Molly - Muskegon, Michigan
Entered on April 22, 2008

This I believe.

Everyone has always told me, you can be anything when you grow up. When I was growing up, I did want to be everything. Obviously, most of those “anythings” didn’t happen, but the moral of the story was, To Follow Your Dreams, Not Anyone Else’s.

At the end of high school, I began seriously thinking about my options for college and pursuing a degree. Since I was little, I have always loved to read and write. Although I was not the best at either of them, I always knew that I wanted to peruse a career in English. When I began studying secondary English education, I received nothing but bad reactions from anyone and everyone I talked to. Nobody could believe that I would pick secondary education over elementary education. All I ever heard was that I would never find a job in Michigan, and that going to school for an English degree would be nothing but mass amounts of reading and writing. To me, this sounded great. After all, I loved to read and write, and I wanted to learn more about both.

Despite my gut feelings, I decided to change my major to Special Education my sophomore year. Not only was this something that touched my heart, it was something that also interested me. When I told people about this major, I got nothing but positive feedback. People praised me for going into such a noble career, and expressed to no end the positive outlook for Special Ed. Teachers. After two years of studying Special Ed., I began doubting my decision. After many long nights, and even more panicky days, I decided to go with my gut. I knew I could not be happy doing one thing, knowing I was meant to love doing another. I changed my major again, and I have never looked back.

Immediately, I felt much happier about my classes and my career. I knew that with making that decision, I would have a lot of catching up to do, as well as even more hard work. I attended summer school full time, and got right back on track with my plans. If I want to be a successful teacher, I need to love my job, and be happy with where I am. If I want to have successful students, I need to love teaching them.

Today, I am one year away from having my very own classroom, full of high school English students, and I could not be happier about it. People still tell me that I should have chosen a career with a positive job outlook, but I can’t imagine doing something just for that reason. When my students someday ask me what they should study in college, I’ll tell them that I believe in intuition, and in following your dreams.