Why You Need To Dream Big & Go After It

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This essay is one that I recently submitted for the opportunity to win a scholarship from Rent the Runway, an online fashion rental service. Fingers crossed – I’ll keep you posted!

I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket, but I’ve also never let anything slow me down.

A triple threat student with valuable leadership experience, extensive professional development and consistent academic excellence, I am an unstoppable force for good in my community and on my campus. An average week for me includes 18 hours spent in class, 15 hours spent generating leads and advertising revenue for Ithaca College’s award-winning student newspaper, The Ithacan, 10 hours spent in the gym, 8 hours spent working with project managers for Students Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations, and countless hours spent doing homework and studying for those 6 classes. People regularly ask me how I manage such a full schedule. My secret? I adore every second of it.

Equipped with all the tools Ithaca College has to offer, I’m well on my way to creating a dazzling career. How many students can say that they’ve had the opportunity to conduct sociological research in Belize, the skills to balance three public relations internships at once, and the confidence to generate over $100,000 in advertising revenue for a student newspaper? I thrive in the midst of organized chaos, and I’m able to find balance and strength in even the most hectic weeks.

The challenges I face – that all students face – are an invitation to be extraordinary. If you never apply for that internship or scholarship, you’ll certainly never get it; if you give yourself a chance to prove that you are capable of more than you’ve ever dreamed, you’ll always find success. Sometimes success is maintaining a GPA or getting fit, and sometimes success is giving yourself the freedom to accept a challenge. As far as I’m concerned, it is always better to fail while working your hardest than it is to succeed while doing just enough to skate by.

Having the courage to accept challenges and be extraordinary is terrifying. Extraordinary people are held to a higher standard, expected to do well and succeed against the odds. However, there is one key difference between extraordinary and being ordinary: extraordinary people live extraordinary lives, lives full of excitement and delight and marvel. By daring to dream of living an extraordinary life, I am holding myself to a higher standard and giving myself permission to seek delight.

My time at Ithaca College has been an experience unlike any other – I have loved, I have learned, I have lost and I have led. I have loved finding academic pursuits that I am passionate about, ranging from Wellness: A Multicultural Perspective on Health & Healing to Brand Design & Communication to Citizenship & Mobilization in Latin America. I have learned to treat myself with dignity and respect. I have lost 65 pounds and gained the skills to find balance and confidence even during the most overwhelming times. I have led other students in applying their strategic business skills to help nonprofits achieve their goals. In everything I have done, I have challenged myself to find new connections and new goals at Ithaca College and beyond.

I’ve always dreamed of making a difference in the world by doing what I love. My major, Integrated Marketing Communications, is based on partnering business and marketing tactics, ranging from sales and promotions to public relations to advertising to traditional and digital marketing. While I love most aspects of my major, public relations is where I’ve truly found my niche. Public relations is based on the radical idea that what you have to say is worth sharing, and I am a storyteller at heart. Since founding Students Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations three years ago, I have been able to help multiple non-profits tell their stories for maximum impact using PR strategies – something that they have been endlessly grateful for and I have been endlessly proud of. Ultimately, I aim to be a trendsetter in the field of public relations for non-profits and socially responsible consumer products.

My dreams are big, yes – but with all the work I’ve put into making my dreams a reality, I know I have the power and the skills to achieve greatness. Every goal I set is a new dream I know I’ll make my reality, and every achievement is a new stepping stone to bigger and better opportunities. I continue to have the courage to accept new challenges and take on new responsibilities, and in doing so I am building the foundation for an extraordinary life.

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