Hey THHG readers, I’m Althea! I am also a full-time student, blessed with the gift of studying alongside That Hard Hat Girl at the University of Portland. Like any student, I have been struggling with a mid-college crisis lately. Now, unlike the victim of a mid-life crisis, I am not out buying red corvettes (I wrestle with the commitment of buying a Frappuccino instead of a $2 tea) and going on dates with people half my age (they would be like ten, which would be weird). Instead, I am changing my career goals every couple of days and doing crazy things like starting a blog with no knowledge or experience (which you can check out at letitbedone.org). Even while facing this soul-crushing confusion and frustration that comes with deciding what to do with my life, I feel inspired and passionate. This is because I have committed myself to getting off my butt and going after my dreams! Keep on reading to get a look at my thought-process, as well as a few tips!
Before you decide to follow your dreams, you must do two things: learn to conquer your fears, and figure out what the heck your dreams are (this is where I struggle). So how do you conquer your fears? As That Hard Hat Girl would say, “Just stand up!” I have learned that the best thing to do is just bite the bullet and go for it. If you feel excited and passionate about something, jump in! I’m not saying that you should not stop and think things through, but there are a few thoughts that should be pushed (no SHOVED) out of that thought process, such as… “But what will so-and-so think?” “But my parents want me to do something different” “But I already have a job that pays the bills (especially if you don’t even like that job!” “I’m not very good at that” etc. Take all those thoughts and kick them to the curb. Now, you can stop and think about the important things. Are you excited? Do you feel passionate about this? Will it make you happy? This is the process that I use to conquer my own fears. When I started my blog a few weeks ago I was extremely hesitant, knowing that I had never done anything similar and unsure that I had the skill to make a living off it, but I did it anyways! I know that if blogging is not for me and it tanks, I will learn something important and move on. For the time being though, I am loving it and it is bringing me so much happiness!
You’re probably wondering what happened to that second step, figuring out what the heck your dreams are, right? Well, I did not forget about it, I just have no idea how to do it! Okay, that’s not entirely true (if it was, I would have never mentioned it). So how do you overcome such a daunting challenge? I want to tell you “follow your heart” and “do what you love” but I know that if you are anything like me, that advice is useless because you don’t know what you love… Or do you? (does that thing where the actor dramatically looks into the camera, like in The Office). Let me give you an example of how I have realized this in my life lately: youth ministry.
In high school I got involved in the youth group at my church, joined the leadership team, made some amazing friends, and really laid a strong foundation for my faith before heading off to college (you know, typical youth groupin’ stuff). When I went to college, I heard an announcement that a church down the street was looking for some help with their youth group. I immediately talked to the priest and contacted the church, and I was super pumped! Then, the entire school year passed and I never heard anything back. Bummer, right? Well, finally I reached out to the church again and made plans to meet with the priest leading the youth group as soon as I came back from summer break. The next year I found out that I would be able to be super involved because there was nobody else volunteering at the time, and I was pumped again. Like, bouncing off the walls excited (on the inside of course). So, my second year of college I was volunteering at that youth group, and then I accepted an internship with another youth ministry, all while helping with some small projects for my youth group back home. Are you noticing a pattern? I started to notice this pattern too, and that is when I began to realize… I found something that I loved! Doing youth ministry would be a DREAM come true! Then, I could take action and go after this dream. That’s what you have to do! Look for where you are already spending your time, what you get excited about, and what you love putting work into, and then figure out how you can pursue this in the future.
Now that you know how I go about life (and that there is a little more structure to it than just going with the wind), here is a couple of tips:
Do not let fear hold you back, ever. Especially fear that is grounded in the expectations of others.
Let go of any plans that you don’t love. If you were planning on being an accountant because your parents wanted it or you thought it was a good idea in the beginning, but you don’t get excited about it, ditch it.
Get involved in things you think you would like, stick with the ones you love.
When you are trying to figure out what your dreams are, look at where you are already spending your time and energy because chances are, there’s a pattern.
Just stand up! Go for it!
Thank you for taking the time to read about me and I hope that I was able to help you out! If you liked what you saw, check me out at letitbedone.org. Also, if you are a person of faith and want to look to God for some direction in your life, download my free seven day devotional by visitinglibdlanding.ontrapages.com.