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If you can dream it, you can stress about it

My very fist dream job that I remember consciously wanting was to be the editor at Seventeen magazine. I was thirteen. I had just discovered eyeliner, and thought that I could make a name for myself by teaching teenage girls how to dress and how to tell if your crush liked you.

However, I have had many dream jobs since. I mean, to be honest, being an editor of any magazine would be totally amazing (Seventeen, if you’re reading this, I am still interested in the position). Let me think…I have wanted to be a cruise ship director, a record label publicist, an English teacher, a PR professional in Washington, D.C, and a journalist all in the last five months. I have always been a bit of a dreamer. As a high school student, I was absolutely positive that I would breeze through college and move to New York to live a life identical to that of Carrie Bradshaw. Hah!

What I struggle with now, and it is something I have always struggled with, is the stress that comes with being a big dreamer. I do not think there is anything wrong with this, and I will be the first person to tell you to take a chance and follow your dreams. But I spend a lot of time lying awake at night wondering “just how exactly do you get there? How do you go from college student to Editor of a magazine? How will I ever nail down that dream job?” Your professors will tell you that the secret is internships, meeting people, and a stunning LinkedIn profile. While these factors should indeed contribute to that fabulous job you have always dreamed of, it can still seem scary.

The future, the unknown, is incredibly frightening. I have so many visions for what I want my life to look like in four years. I know that I will be lucky if even one of my dreams turns into my reality, so how do I handle that? How am I supposed to go day by day just hoping that everything turns out how I’ve pictured it?

After a lot of soul searching and article reading, here are the tips that I came up with.

Don’t believe everything you see on TV: How did the cast of Friends afford that loft? Or how did Marshal and Lily from HIMYM make enough money to even survive in NYC as a teacher and a law student? Bottom line: TV makes it look way to easy. Remember in Glee when Rachel booked her first big Broadway show after being in the city for less than a year? Stuff like that is great, and it makes for entertaining television, but it is in no way a good expectation for reality. Life in any big city is hard, and nabbing your dream job might come after you take a not-so-glamourous position somewhere else! TV shows like Scandal make the field of Public Relations look glamourous and dark. And then there is Grey’s Anatomy, I imagine real surgeons don’t have the time or energy for all that relationship drama! Set your goals and aim for them, but find your inspiration from magazine articles, professors and real people who have worked in your field! You can find some of the most honest and helpful advice there!

Narrow down your options: There are some career options out there that sound really cool…at first. Think about what you want out of life, how you want your day-to-day routine to be and where you see yourself in ten years! Being passionate about politics is great, but that doesn’t mean you want to run for office. If you love chemistry but hate kids, you probably shouldn’t be a science teacher. Examine your options, and then narrow them down. It is overwhelming to think about everything the world has to offer! But you have time to experience things and build a life for yourself. Take some time to decide what possible career and jobs you see really yourself in, and then go from there.

Take things one step at a time: Worry about your summer internship before you stress about your post-graduation job! Focus on getting through your Bio exam before you worry about passing your Boards! You achieve your goals by working hard, and that comes with being focused and doing well on your school work. Sure, you will spend time imagining your future, but be sure that you are putting plenty of energy into your present as well!

Planning is good, but be open minded: It is so easy to make a perfect plan for your life. Pinterest makes it way to easy to plan your wedding during a lecture, it is no wonder straying from your original path seems so hard! It is great to scroll through future job opportunities, but keep an open mind! You always wanted to work in Chicago? Well, maybe Nashville will end up being where life takes you. Remember that your vision of success might change as you get older, and you might aspire to different things than you originally had planned. That’s okay! Roll with the changes and embrace new opportunities, that is what life is all about.

Find your squad: The people you surround yourself with are critical to your success and your attitude. Whether it is all your old gal pals from high school, or your sorority sisters, find people who make you feel motivated and inspired. It is important to be friends with people who have similar goals as you. This is where those professional organizations on campus come in. When you meet people who have the same major as you and a similar plan for the future, your dreams can appear all the more achievable!

College is scary and stressful, fun and exilerating, the best and the worst of times. The future is out there waiting, but that is okay, because you are ready to handle it. So keep dreaming, keep planning, keep working towards your goals. But have some fun along the way. Your dreams should inspire you, not stress you out. 

Natalie Eusebio is a Public Relations major at Kent State University. She enjoys writing, reading, listening to musicals, and exploring Northeast Ohio When she is at home in Canfield, OH she likes to catch up with old friends and spend time snuggling her cats. On campus, you can find her in the Chi Omega house or studying at Starbucks. Her weaknesses include online shopping sprees and talking too fast. As a writer, Natalie hopes to both empower and entertain her audience. Natalie's future plans include advocating for those in need and finding employment with a PR firm somewhere out west.
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