“Don’t let your dreams be dreams,” Shia LaBeouf shouts across the screen. When it came out it was one of the biggest memes of 2015. It was funny and loud and everyone loved it. And it was typical Shia. And then at some point we all forgot about it and went back to our lives. Last week I heard it for the first time in a long time. I was walking in Oak by some professor’s office where I assume he was giving some student class picking advice. It is that time of year.
The student was saying something like how he wanted to do something with the major (I think it was economics) but it was kind of outside the scope of the things normally covered. And then I heard it, the professor literally said “don’t let your dreams be dreams.” It was an amazing moment and all I could think about was that dumb video. I was immediately transported back a few years. It was like a mad rush of nostalgia. Now I don’t think the professor actually knew anything about the video or any of the memes that were born from it. For him it was just really good advice. And that got me thinking.
When we first saw that video the only thing that we thought about was “wow this totally ridiculous.” Or “Classic Shia, always trying to do something to stay relevant.” And after the memes started we basically blew it off. Once you managed to stop starring at Shia’s ridiculous flexing you found the video actually had some really good advice. The major message being that if you want something, if there is something that is more important than anything else in the world you should just do it.
This may seem pretty cliché, but I think figuring out what you want to do is a really big part of college. Many people will tell you that you should have it figured out before college. According to them, if you don’t have it figured out then you’re just wasting time and money by pursuing something you’ll drop later. These people are wrong. When you’re 16 or 17 years old and applying to college, you are naïve as all hell about the world. You barely know yourself, let alone what you want to do for the rest of your life. Some people might know but the vast majority of us don’t.
I’ve mentioned this probably a million times. I came into UConn wholly set on being an actuary and now, as I prepare to leave I want to do photojournalism. I know it’s my most overused example, but I really stand by it. College is all about finding what you want to do with the rest of your life. There’s a 75 percent chance it’s going to be what you came in pursuing (roughly), but if it’s not so be it. You need to do what’s going to make you happy, no matter what your parents say. They aren’t going to live your life.
Class selections are going to be beginning in the next few weeks, so as we roll into that you need to figure out exactly what you want to do or think you want to do and tell someone. Realistically the best person to tell is your advisor. They’ll have an idea of who exactly to contact and work with, especially if it’s outside of your major. Even if the program doesn’t exist or is super specific they have the most knowledge about the inner-workings of UConn and can help you the best.
You’ve probably heard the saying, follow your bliss. If you have big plans for doing something in the future, you need to start building those foundations now. It is like the great Shia LaBeouf says, “Just Do IT!”
Amar Batra is a senior staff photographer and opinion’s contributor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org.