If you’re not chasing your dreams, you should read this

Chasing your dreams? You’re probably thinking Katie—are you five years old?

Maybe I’m crazy, but college has made my once-called dreams into my soon-to-be future. And when I hear someone is studying something they have absolutely no interest in, I can’t help but tell them what I’m about to tell you. I am not a journalism major because I’ll be making good money (clearly), or because I am simply talented at it. I am a journalism major because I fall deeply in love with the words on a paper and feel a whole lot of passion every time I talk about it. I am a journalism major because I have a future awaiting that will allow me to transform my dreams into my everyday life.

Attending a school that is solely known for it’s phenomenal engineering program, I think you can assume my major isn’t of those in the spotlight. I can’t count on two hands how many times I have heard the negative responses and feedback people have received from simply saying they are of the handful of liberal art majors. I have even experienced it first handedly with my own relatives!

What in the world are you going to do with a journalism degree?

My response to that? I am going to chase my dreams until they are no longer dreams. I am going to work for what gives me passion even if it means being tight with money. I am not going to study for four years of my life that will only look good on a resume or sound prestigious to others; I am going to do something that I can look back on with eyes reflecting pure passion and hope.

Don’t let your dreams become the opinions of those around you. Those are not your dreams, they are theirs. Dreams are what you hope to achieve. And when you stop chasing dreams of others and start chasing dreams of your own, they won’t just be dreams.

They’ll be your future.

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You’re not alone, I promise

It never crossed my mind nor did I ever think I was capable enough to write about this. I thought if I were putting it down on paper, it may become too real.

But it was real. Blatantly real. I was a freshman college student, getting involved in everything under the moon, but felt as if I were floating in outer space. I was drifting, or you could say separating, from the things I loved most. I didn’t feel like myself. I felt like I had lost the Katie inside of me.

It was a game of tug of war with my joy at one end and stress at the other, and it weighed down on me like the world. From taking numerous psychology courses, I knew what stress was about. I knew the side effects, yet as a college student, I’m supposed to be stressed, right? But I was never told that it can make you feel as if your life is walking right past you and all you can do is watch.

I was in quick sand, trying not to sink.

And at the time, I needed someone to tell me what I’m about to tell you.

You are not alone. Really, you’re not alone. I repeated that twice because it is the truth yet it gets shoveled out of everything. After talking to other women, I realized how common and unspoken this feeling of stress is. Going off of that—you need to talk. Talk to God, talk to your friends, your mom, or whoever. Talking about how you feel brings you one step closer to understanding why you feel that way.

Try picking yourself up. I know this is what I needed to hear at the time, but I’m not exactly sure it was what I wanted to hear. I needed to pick myself up and rediscover the Katie I always knew of. The search for that felt foggy and claustrophobic. I was lost in a pile of messiness that weighed on my heart. I remember the cheesy phrase that floated in the back of my head when something else went wrong: When it rains, it pours. Yeah, no. When it rains, guess what? There’s a huge, stinkin’ rainbow at the end. I started by addressing what was making me stressed. I began doing the little things again that make me, me, such as writing, coffee dates, long car rides, random dance parties, and deep talks. I immediately found myself, and my thoughts, less life draining and more life fulfilling.

Stress is a germ that latches on to us at our weakest. It takes hold of your happiness and throws you in the dumps. Whether you’re a college student, or not, I want you to know your stress is not a fad or lifestyle. If it costs you your joy, it’s time you let go and let God.

With so much love,

Kp