Dreams change over time

March 29, 2018 — by Julia Miller and Jeffrey Xu

Some kids dream of exploring space as astronauts, treating dogs and cats as veterinarians or making it on magazine covers as celebrity singers and actors. But as they age, they often leave those dream jobs behind for more realistic options.

 

Every child remembers the age-old question they get from adults: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Some kids dream of exploring space as astronauts, treating dogs and cats as veterinarians or making it on magazine covers as celebrity singers and actors. But as they age, they often leave those dream jobs behind for more realistic options.

Especially in a place like Saratoga, filled with high-achieving parents from other countries who have achieved the American Dream, kids learn from a young age that they are expected to attend a good college, acquire a degree or two and settle down with a job that pays well, leaving little to no room for hard-to-attain childhood dreams to thrive.

As an elementary schooler, sophomore Ronak Pai wanted to be a professional basketball player.

“I was a little boy with big dreams,” Pai said. “I thought it would be super cool to get to play sports for my entire life.”

However, as he got older and the pressures of reality closed in on him, reality set in.

“I realized that I wasn’t really that athletic and would probably be better at working a desk job,” Pai said. “I’m pretty good at [computer science] so I guess I’d make a good engineer.”

Similarly, senior Marissa Leong wanted to be a Hollywood actress. Soon after entering high school, though, her perspective on her future career possibilities drastically changed.

I wanted to [try out for plays and musicals] but didn’t have the confidence,” Leong said. “I started to believe pursuing an acting job seemed unrealistic.”

Leong blames herself for giving up on her childhood ambition.

“At SHS, you don’t see many students choosing a career in drama or acting, because people are more realistic and it’s all about making money here,” Leong said.

Now, Leong is thinking about being a pediatrician, due to her interests in biology and love for caring for her four younger siblings.

Meanwhile, other students such as senior Tristan Xiao recall having dreams based on characters they had read about or seen on TV.

For Xiao, it was the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. As a young boy who loved puzzles and mysteries, he idolized Holmes and his ingenious ways of solving problems.

Once Xiao reached middle school, he began to read the news, where he found out that careers such as being a police or detective are not as glamorous as they are portrayed in films or books.

Looking back, Xiao attributes his dreams to the fact that he sometimes wished that he was somebody other than himself.

“Whenever I read or watch stories with protagonists who have special talents, I try to put myself in their shoes,” Xiao said. “It just makes me feel special and good.”

Although childhood dreams eventually come to a “somewhat disappointing finish,” Xiao still believes that they serve a good purpose, as they promote the creativity of young children and give them something to look forward to.

Now, Xiao is looking forward to pursuing a major and possibly a career in software engineering. He still looks on his childhood dreams with fondness.

“Dreams inspire our imagination and generally promote an optimistic view of life,” Xiao said. “Even if we don’t make these childhood dreams and even if we find out about reality, we still stay optimistic

 

 

 
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