The Next Step

November 9, 2011
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Every single high school student has or has had a dream for their future. Whether they want to be a doctor, a lawyer, or the President of the United States, all dreams are followed by two questions: “Is my dream bigger than myself? What will it cost me?”

The first question is easy to answer: no. No dream is too big or out of reach. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not let the government or the racist people stop him from fighting for his rights. His dream of integration may have been far-fetched back then, but look at our generation now! Blacks and whites and Asians and Hispanics now live together and work together. Your dream could possibly help the world in a major way as well. Harriet Tubman once said, “Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

While dreaming is such a wonderful idea, it has no real meaning in this world. If you dream and not do anything to make it come true, then all it will ever be is a dream. Just like Harriet Tubman said, you have the power to make that dream a reality and possibly change the world. Where do you start? That’s where education, hard work, and self discipline come in. High school is one of, if not the most important time of your life. It is during these 4 years that you start learning the skills that will ultimately guide you in your future career. Science teaches you about life in its natural state, math teaches you logic in numbers, and history teaches you about the events that shaped our world today. Art and music give the student a chance to express themselves in more ways than regular academics, and language classes such as Spanish and French open the door to a world filled with opportunities to explore other nations. Traits such as time management, self discipline, study skills, and reading skills will truly push you towards a positive future.

A lot of students might ask, “When am I ever going to use this in real life?” I know because I myself have asked this question, especially when I’m learning about how to solve quadratic equations and multiply matrices in my Algebra II class. We may not know when we are going to use the skills we learn in high school, but we will use them somehow. Maybe you’ll use your algebraic skills when you become an architect or your knowledge about Shakespeare when you become a contestant on Jeopardy. If you apply yourself to your studies and manage your time accordingly, you could be off to an Ivy League College and to the top of your career. High school and college are so important in the corporate society. During this day and age, finding a job that doesn’t require a college degree is like finding a mustard seed in a haystack.

Another question that you might ask is, “What will my dream cost me?” Obviously, the first answer will be money. No matter what profession you decide, you will need to pay for your training, education, and supplies. If you don’t decide to go to college (which is not recommended), you still need food and shelter, and you cannot live with your parents for your whole life. Another cost of living your dream is time. It takes time to get the necessary education for your profession. It takes 4 years usually for a bachelor’s degree, and longer if you want a master’s degree, a PhD, or a doctorate. That is just education alone; you will spend a majority of your life climbing up the corporate ladder. For example, it could take years for a actor to get a role in a movie or a lawyer to become a partner in a law firm. However, you can use the skills you learn in school to help you manage your time and succeed faster.

Some teenagers might say that high school is a waste of time, and that you will not learn anything that you will use in real life. This statement is completely and utterly false. Everything you learn in high school and college are extremely important to survival in society today. Getting a job, buying a home, and living out your dream solely depend on your dedication and will to learn. The skills you learn now could truly make you or break you in the future.

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