Column: Although cliché, “shoot for the stars”

Janica Kaneshiro | Staff Writer

I’m tired of being told what I can’t do.

Ever reminisce about the toddler days when great-aunt Sue asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I do. I answered in a variety of ways of course, like all young kids, from “I want to be President” to “I want to be anastronaut.” Actually, if I look back on what I wanted to be, even in the sixth grade, my answer was, “I want  to be an astronomer.” What? I don’t even consider that now as a career option. That just seems beyond me, or so I’ve been told.

Now, as a junior in high school, I’ve come to accept that I will never be any of those things. I will never get into Yale like Rory Gilmore did and I probably won’t discover a new star anytime soon. Thinking back on dreams lost is just depressing. But, honestly, what’s keeping me from that adolescent optimism?

So what if I didn’t get a perfect ACT score; does that mean that my biggest hopes for myself are out the window? Does College Board really get to determine the outcome of my life? Up until recently, I thought so, too.

But looking back, I believed with every fiber of my being that the title of President would one day be attached to my name and that one day my everyday-job life would include star-gazing. As ridiculous as those aspirations sound, without big dreams, I wouldn’t have had the drive to get this far.

I’m not sure if I would have made it to where I am now if on every student sheet in elementary school I wrote down “corporate business woman” on my paper for my “dream job.” There’s nothing wrong with getting a reality check and realizing that not every five year-old saying they will one day be the president actually will be.

But listen to that deeply unoriginal yet synonymous message in every inspirational movie you’ve ever seen: you can’t go through life settling. You will only be regular if you accept yourself as regular. So why not dream big?

Yeah, you’ve heard it before, and I, like everyone else, roll my eyes when my grandparents send me cards that say “shoot for the stars” in glittery pink bubble letters. And yet, paradoxically, our parents sit at the dinner table and talk about how much they hate their jobs because their jobs fell short of their childhood dreams.

Now, in these times, a job’s a job, but if I’m going to be a corporate businesswoman I might as well be the corporate businesswoman and approach the future with the same zest I did when I was answering dear Aunt Sue at the tender age of five.

Limits are for people willing to settle; personally, I’m not willing to settle. So I’m going to look forward to college with the mindset of my five-year-old self. Take that, College–Board, you could still be looking at the first president with a major in astronomy.