Before I die I want to

Sophomore reflects on accomplishing dreams


Photo by file photo

Story by Colton Johnson, staff writer

“Before I die I want to be high enough to see the earth curve,” sophomore Karissa Smith said.

When high school students think of their futures, chances are they are thinking of what college they want to go to or what job they plan on getting. That’s the only reason we go to school, right?

High school has become a competitive battlefield based on class rank and GPA. People forget about the classes they are taking for their own enjoyment and begin looking at the weight of them instead. A picture perfect transcript suddenly becomes someone’s world.

Sixth graders are now expected to have a map of their future lives, including colleges, to find jobs purely based on salary. Some teachers and administration have forced us to grow up forgetting about the present and thinking only of the future.

While students are constantly stressing over perfecting their futures, the vibrant dreams that used to overflow in their minds begin to fade into nonexistence.

I think it’s time we bring those dreams back.

During the spring of last year, I ventured around the school asking people what they wanted to do before they died. This venture was inspired by the book, All The Bright Places, after the main characters visited a wall covered in messages left of people’s hopes and dreams.

Some of the people I approached were complete strangers, but something everyone had in common was they all knew something they wanted to accomplish in life. I asked 63 people at this school, and the majority of them had detailed hopes that had nothing to do with their personal education.

Sadly, those dreams don’t seem to have as much worth anymore–at least, not to the school system. Although, in the grand scheme of things, I believe these dreams have as much worth as our education and should be remembered.

On vacation this past summer, I came across one of these walls, and seeing the pursuits of hundreds of people scribbled in unique handwritings with colorful chalk sprawled across the wall, I was inspired.

Before I die I want to write a novel that has the power to make people feel something. Writing my dream up on that wall honestly made me realize that it could be done. I realized if all the people who had visited this wall believed they could accomplish their dream before death, then the only thing stopping them is themselves.

I believe that this wall is exactly what this school needs to give students the kind of hope they need for their futures. It can be quite frankly terrifying imagining our futures after high school.

We have to face the undeniable fact that change is inevitable.

The world is unpredictable, and while the courses we take prepare us for the next rigorous test a teacher decides to throw our way, our lives can never be truly mapped out.

We are worth more than a score on an ACT or the number of colleges willing to accept us. In the grand scheme of things, our lives are measured by much more than a number.

As we age, we will continuously look back on our lives, filled with nostalgia, and remember the people, places and accomplishments that made our life meaningful, and an AP test will not be amongst them.

People need to realize how important their dreams are to this world, and that is why I believe one of these walls would make a great and artistic addition to this school. Everyone’s dream should be recognized, so lets get them the recognition they deserve.