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What Do Dreams Mean? How They Can Impact Your Life

Isn’t it interesting how a five-letter word can completely alter the course of someone’s life? Foster an intense motivation for success? Exemplify the deepest of passions? Force them to persevere although the horizon looks dark and the road is winding? Five letters nestled themselves in my brain years ago—the exact time I cannot recall. Ever since, these letters have remained, slowly forming a word, which has controlled my actions, my emotions, and my reactions to failure.

This simple word has planted a seed in my head, that once so small, has grown into a plant, rooted for life. Although some days this plant seems to wither with the wind or crumple into the shadows, it always seems to stand tall when the sunlight returns. This thing that has such power over me, and many others, is called a dream.

What is a dream, really? Well, defined by Merriam Webster, it can be considered a variety of things: a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep, a state of mind marked by abstraction or release from reality, a strongly desired goal or purpose, or even something that fully satisfies a wish. In my personal opinion, I think that the word dream cannot be described in such a simple way—because the effect it can have on people simply cannot be condensed down to a mere sentence.

girl sleeping in black and white
Kinga Cichewicz

How then, would one define the word “dream?” I think it means something completely different to every person on this planet. Last week, on the subway, I looked across my seat and observed a man. He held a large instrument in his hand, he appeared to be nervous, and was dressed in a suit. We briefly made eye contact as he exited the train, and he gave me a nervous smile, gone in a flash. Although it is quite fair to say that this man could’ve been going anywhere, it seemed to me that he had a date with destiny, or in other words, a chance to grab his dream and never let it go. The hope in his eyes glittered, and the twitch in his fingers as they gripped the instrument showed me the passion he had for what he was doing. He was not the first person I had seen whose eyes reflected a desire for more. I have witnessed many with the same fervor.

Silly Girl
Arianna Tucker / Her Campus

By my definition of dream, it’s a feeling that grabs you tight and refuses to let go. It consumes you, it becomes part of you, and it burns a fire so hot beneath you that you are compelled to act.

The power of a dream is, in my opinion, more powerful than anything else. If you never allow yourself to dream, then you’ll never understand what it feels like if you did manage to reach your goals. As Walt Disney started years ago so truthfully, “All our dreams can come true, as long as we have the courage to pursue them.”

Dreaming takes a little bit of luck, a splash of courage, and a whole lot of perseverance. I am willing to accept the possibility of failure, because on the other end of that lies the possibility of success, which, if reached, is so much sweeter when you remember the courage you scavenged to take that first leap of faith. 


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Autumn is a junior studying film/television & journalism at Boston University. She is extremely passionate about writing & film, traveling, her family and friends, and telling stories.
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