What you wanted to be vs. what you are today

Dreams shape who we are and what we do, but we also shape our dreams as we grow and learn more about the world around us.

As children, everyone had dreams of the future. Every kid knew what he or she wanted to be when he or she grew up. By the time children become adults, these plans are likely to change, as they did for many of people I interviewed.

Jennifer Smith, senior creative writing major, said she wanted to be a paleontologist or a singer—now she wants to be a writer. This happened when she took her first English creative writing class and enjoyed character development and writing.

Reshauna Edwards, senior creative writing major, wanted first to be a teacher, and after that a lawyer. Now she would like to do something with social work. Her plans changed as she took English classes as well.

Alesa Webber, who wanted to be a veterinarian, is now a technical communications major. She said she changed her mind because she wouldn’t be able to handle doing an autopsy on an animal.

Shandrea Jemison wanted to be a lawyer. Now she wants to be an African diplomat. This change happened when she realized her internship was nothing like the courtroom on Matlock, which was her inspiration to be a lawyer. Africa seems more interesting to her now.

Bryan Gordy wanted to be an old-fashioned pharmacist but now he wants to be a chemical engineer. He changed when he was in high school working for a pharmacy and it was nothing like the image in his head from It’s a Wonderful Life. He learned that reality isn’t like a druggist in the movies, and then college changed his interests.

Senior Stephanie Hennigan wanted to be a lawyer. In keeping with her childhood dreams, she is going to law school after she graduates this year. She wants to help children.

Brice Corum wanted to be a police officer, a firefighter and a football star. Now he’s majoring in computer science. His dreams changed when he figured out that “when you shoot the bad guys, they don’t come back to life.” His football days got cut short because his parents wouldn’t let him play football, and he didn’t like the heat of a fire which ruined his firefighting dreams.

Dr. Scott Walker wanted to be a medical doctor growing up and is now a professor and a minister. His dreams changed when he couldn’t get the science part of being a doctor down.

“When I was a wee little kid, I wanted to work at McDonalds so I would get free hamburgers,” said senior Eric Brown. “Then I wanted to be an astronaut. Then I wanted to be Batman.”