A Dream Deferred: Why you should follow your dreams

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Courtesy of yaznisketches

Gupta (’24) encourages others to have high aspirations for their future.

My eyes scanned my English assignment and my emotions flurried as the text on the page seemed to be jumping out to me and forming themselves into a familiar picture— my own life. Langston Hughes’ “Harlem” made me find myself, agonizingly, in my held off dreams to work to become a better writer and artist. In Hughes’ words, my dreams deferred.

As an avid dreamer, I have often found myself creating lists of goals I want to achieve throughout my life, such as to become a better artist or writer. But I come up with excuses to defer them. My list of goals inevitably gets piled under homework assignments, my drawer filled to the brim with art supplies remains closed, and my writing notebook stays shut.

But as I now understand the importance of following my dreams, I also now understand that my dreams make me who I am. Everyone should pursue their dreams, passions, and goals instead of holding them off.

Some could argue that we are students and are burdened with excessive assignments and quizzes, so we do not have time to follow our dreams. Many students already are focused on trying to become president of one more club or applying for summer programs or honor societies. Although some might be trying to become president of a topic they are passionate about or applying for an honor society for a subject they love, a clear question arises. What are they doing this for, for themselves or for colleges?

If we acknowledge our true dreams out of love, we are acknowledging ourselves. Chris Shin (‘23) wrote, “I think the key to making your dreams [come true] is to simply do what you really love to do.” By following our dreams, we are prioritizing our futures, our hopes, our passions, what we love, and what makes us, us.

Ellie Noh (‘24) wrote, “My biggest goal is to pursue a career in law. . . I am participating in clubs such as mock trials to get a better understanding of how a courtroom functions. . .” Whether you join a club, open a drawer, or start writing in your notebook, following your dreams, big or small, can start anywhere.

Lindsay Newcomb (‘24) wrote, “I’ve always wanted to learn how to play guitar or piano but tend to put it off. . . I would have to put in a lot of practice and with school, sports, etc., I can never find the right time to start.” Many of us find ourselves in a similar situation, but by taking the first step into reality from our dreams, we are able to achieve our goals. Jeremy Raden (‘24) wrote, “Go after your dreams, be ambitious, set goals for yourself, this is the key to happiness.”

Langston Hughes vividly describes a deferred dream. He compares it to a raisin in the sun, a festering sore, and a sagging load. What happens to a dream followed? A flame is ignited and a first step is taken. A choice is made to open a drawer, write in a notebook, and wake up to the same world you dream of. Everyone should make the choice to follow their dreams rather than defer them.