I started college the fall semester of 2014 at the University of Houston straight out of high school. This experience was akin to living on Cloud 9 because the University of Houston was (and still is) my dream school. I had been making plans to attend this university since I first discovered it in the 8th grade. My high school classes were selected based on the credits that would transfer to the university. I knew all there was to know about the Honors College, Bauer College of Business, and College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. I knew what I wanted to major in and was very familiar with the degree plan. Not only was the University of Houston the only school I applied to, but for me, it was the only school worth going to.
A dream becomes reality
When I got accepted into the Honors College, I witnessed my dream become a reality. It was at that moment that I began to realize how malleable the reality we live in can be. Our actions, thoughts and intentions can have a dramatic effect on how we live our lives. The process of transitioning dreams to reality is where creativity, research and faith come into play. I worked hard to get accepted into the Honors College, it didn’t happen overnight.
The power to shape my reality
Starting college at my dream school was the first step for me. Imagine a young African American woman graduating from a Tier- 1 research institution in four years with two degrees, fluent in two languages, with extensive travel experiences. Imagine a student who started a chapter of a national organization, opened a consulting business, started a nonprofit and is now about to head to South Korea to learn her third language! That person is me. Not to mention, I did all this before turning 22 and spent less than $10,000 on everything– tuition, books, study abroad, fees, business ventures! That sounds like a pipedream to most people, but for me, that is my life.
Making your own reality requires redefining what “real” is
This is where creativity plays a huge role. You need to tap into that part of your psyche that used to believe that literally anything was possible. It is important not to limit yourself by the barriers you think might exist. For example, a 5-year old would gladly entertain the possibility of becoming a ninja-fighting robot astronaut who does gymnastics on the weekends without hesitation. They see possibility and wonder around them and they want to engage with all of it. Entertain the possibility of limitless opportunities. Go down the rabbit hole of what-ifs, and I-wish and wouldn’t-it-be-great-if. Reignite the excitement of an overactive imagination then start taking steps to enact those dreams.
Build a road map
After your creativity has become ignited, start to do your research. This is where you start to build the road map to those dreams. Understand that the pathway to your success will be riddled with challenges designed to make you stronger and this pathway will ebb and flow. You need to open yourself up to change and flexibility. If you see an obstacle, go through it. If you can’t go through it then go around it. Or go over it, under it, sideways, and if all else fails take a bulldozer and tear it down!
Have faith in yourself
Lastly while paving the path, it is important to have faith in yourself. Your faith is the steam engine behind all your efforts. If you lose sight of what you are aiming for then all your effort can seem wasted and things start going south very quickly. It is okay – even encouraged- to rely on family and friends who believe in you. They can help you through the hard times. It is okay if they do not see the vision you have for yourself. All they need to do is believe in you.
Take the first step
Make your dreams a reality! Don’t loose your imagination – ignite it, to inspire yourself into accomplishing amazing things! With hope, faith, and a little bit of research, you can live your most daring dreams – it just requires you to take the first step!