The Dream of a Lifetime

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Identify why you are in college.
  • Outline your goals for college and your future plans.

Throughout this book, we have covered many techniques for how to get things done effectively: how to study, how to read, how to take notes, how to manage your personal finances or your social life. This chapter challenges you to really think about the why. Why did you decide to attend college? Why is it important to you?

We all have life goals or objectives; some are clearer than others, but they are there. You may think of your objectives in terms of finances (to hold a job that allows you to be financially independent, for example), or perhaps your goals are more personal (to be married and have a family). They might be specific (pay off my student loans within three years of leaving college) or very general (to do good in the world). Regardless of what they may be, they are all important because they influence the decisions you are making today about your future.

Understanding what motivates your goals and aspirations is essential because you are then better able to prioritize your thoughts about the future and identify new options that you may not have thought of before to bring you fulfillment. Beware of accepting dreams others may have for you as your own (“I want to finish college to make my parents proud” or “I want to complete my associate’s degree because my boyfriend says I can get a better job”). Although these are not necessarily bad dreams to pursue, will they lead to genuine fulfillment if they are not your dreams?