Living Up to the Life I Dreamt Of

Kushan V. MehtaJanuary 31, 2023Dreams and Desires

Teenagers find themselves at a unique phase in life. As kids, we were taught to dream big. To shoot for the stars. But as we grow older, we are gradually familiarized with the hardships associated with achieving these goals. The childlike sense of belief and desire starts to become replaced with a supposed pragmatic view of the world. A world that told us we could fly to the moon, but now wants us to spend 12 years strenuously learning the concepts of gravitation, relativity, and calculus before doing so. In such situations, it can become very easy for young people like us to lose track and deviate from the lives we dared to dream for ourselves earlier. Thus, the community we grow up in becomes a crucial factor in the actualization of our dreams.

For the first few years of my life, I lived in California, USA, where I was fortunate enough to be in an environment that encouraged an optimistic attitude toward my goals. When asked what I wanted to do in life, I would always respond with "Become a writer someday." A particular teacher once asked me "Why someday?" In a matter of weeks, I was enrolled in a statewide literary program, where I wrote a short story that got awarded. Therefore, with the help of my teachers, I was able to understand that achieving something does not require the "perfect moment," but rather the will to want to do something.

Upon moving to Gujarat, India, I was exposed to a powerful way of thinking, perpetuated by the principal of my school. Aptly named "I CAN," the essence of the mindset was to believe in the inherent capability of oneself and to approach any adversity with the preconceived notion that "I CAN" overcome it. This school of thought that I imbibed from the various activities and experiences I had at the school, allowed me to build the self-confidence and resolve required to achieve all the goals I set out for myself. Be it becoming a published author, or designing a mobile application, the idea that "I CAN" do it provided a substantial boost in morale to power through the roadblocks on the way.

Further, when college acceptance became everyone's priority, dreams of IITs (colleges with an acceptance rate of 0.1%) seemed to be an unachievable, gargantuan task. But with the help of great mentors at a coaching institute, I was provided with the right environment, resources, and knowledge required to get admitted to these universities. Hence, the availability of these key factors in my community has made me more equipped and skilled to realize my dream of admission to these colleges.

Lastly, in today's day and age, our community is no more limited by the geographic bounds of our locality, town, or city. Through social media, we are increasingly connected to individuals far out in the world and therefore we have formed a larger, broader, digital community. Influencers who have achieved the same goals that we aspire to achieve are easily available online. Be it businessmen, chefs, athletes, or lawyers, a plethora of inspiring successful people share their experiences openly. This provides an outlook on the experiences they have while pursuing a goal that we might have. Along with tips and information that one can learn, these individuals become a source of motivation and inspiration to us young adults to follow in their footsteps.

All in all, my community has supported my aspirations in more ways than one and has provided me with the appropriate knowledge, a positive mindset, and the correct skills to live up to the life that I have always dreamt of.

Kushan is 15 years old, studying at The Riverside School in India. He enjoys technology, language, design, and music. He has published numerous articles and short stories in online magazines, newspapers, and novels. Kushan tries to fade the lines between the two countries he has been tied to — the United States and India — and hopes to write his own novel one day, too.