I had never considered writing a novel or getting a Doctorate. It had never occurred to me that I could get paid to have people consult me or have people look up my research to learn about something. However, since being a Dordt, all of the possibilities of what I could do with my life have started opening up to me--not in the sense that people have been begging me for a copy of my first novel, but in the sense that I have been surrounded by people who either have achieved such things, or people who are on their way to achieving them. I have been told that I can achieve them.
I think that, probably, most colleges inspire their students to try for things they never would have considered. Indeed, you don't need to go to college to be inspired--you can go to Walmart and buy a poster that tells you "dream big." However, I think that what the people of Dordt college mean when they tell you to dream big is a lot different than what Walmart and most other colleges mean.
Let me explain:
A few nights ago, my roommate asked me what my ideal dream job was.
Ahhhhh. That is the million-dollar question. I think I'd like to travel around, writing stories about things and people I'd see; maybe I could also get paid to read literature and write about it.
After a little more brainstorming, I told her that I'd really love to work for an organization that does something like help people come out of sex-trafficking--perhaps writing about people's stories and doing a little public relations for them.
At this point, Renee, who badly needed a shower, flopped down on the couch instead and buried her face in a pillow.
"Tori, that is such a struggle for me. I want to be a vet, and I love being a vet, but there are so many other things I want to do, like start community gardens and teach people pottery and have foster kids."
You should know that Renee is one of the most inspired and inspiring people I know. She is well-known for loving to hammock and camp and rock-climb. Her Instagram is filled with pictures from home (Terrace, B.C.)--pictures of mountains and lakes and cabins, taken while exploring, hunting, fishing, and trapping. She gets energy from being outside and away from civilization.
Something else turns her on as well: people. Recycling and composting. Planning events as a CDA. Making big meals to share with lots of people.
Last night she told me that as much as she would love a house in the middle of a huge plot of land with space to breath and roam, what she would love even more than that is to live in a trailer park. There she could reach out her to neighbors, giving her extra money to causes and organizations such as One Body One Hope. Renee, a big dreamer, dreamed this.
I love Renee, but I'm not here solely to extol her praises. What I want to show you is what college does: it changes what you dream about. And Renee, who has always loved the outdoors, has started to love something else even more. "Being at college has changed me. Hearing chapel messages, having talks like this with your roommates, being around passionate people--it makes you super passionate about making a difference when you finish college."
She's right. I'd never thought of helping people coming out of sex-trafficking.
How did my passions change? For starters, I have professors who believe in me. As I alluded to above, I've had a professor who believed I could write a novel; I've had a professor who believed I could be a journalist; one who thought I could be a professor.
Many, many times, Aaron Baart, our chaplain, has told us that God doesn't call us to jobs that will make the most money. He calls us to jobs where we can serve his kingdom. In that way, we are to dream.
How else did I start changing my dreams? When I saw the dreams of people around me. When Leah told me we needed to talk about Jesus more. When Lydia asked me if I wanted to paint with her. When Cory told me that public relations was the best field ever. When John told me I should care more about the people I passed everyday on the sidewalk.
These dreams aren't the "big" that the world is talking about; I think they're much bigger than what the world is talking about.
But dreaming big isn't really the point here--the point is that our dreams change, and the people around you affect how they change. And I am glad to be around the people of Dordt college.