When you start university or college, and you’re in your first week (Fresher’s Week as we call it here in the UK), there are three questions you will most likely get asked:

  1. What’s your name?
  2. Where do you come from?
  3. What are you studying?

These three questions are the way that you can meet new people and make new friends quickly and easily. Sometimes, it doesn’t work that way. So, in case you didn’t know I’m 1) Louise, 2) from near Oxford, England and 3) studying a joint honours of Education and Drama.

But as you go through your degree, or even in your first year, you’ll get asked a fourth question:

4. What do you want to do after you graduate?

Some people have a clear idea of what they want to do, whether they’ve gone into a specific degree scheme or they’ve known what they’ve wanted to do since they were five years old. I thought I knew what I want to do when I was applying to university, I thought I wanted to teach. To shape the young minds of the next generation but then as I have gone through my degree, I have realised that I didn’t want to teach.

I thought I wanted to teach because people had been telling me that teaching was a stable profession and that teachers are always wanted. Sure, I love working with children and young people but it’s no longer my passion. I’ve learnt that during my two years in Aberystwyth. Teaching wasn’t my dream.

Dreams. Everybody has a dream, something they want to achieve. Some people have multiple dreams. Some dreams change. Dreams come true and dreams don’t come true. My dream? I would absolutely love to perform on a stage, putting on a character and forgetting about my life for two hours. Thing is, I know I will never perform because there are so many people who are much more talented than. Prettier than me. Skinnier than me. So my dream is just a dream.

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” – Sir Winston Churchill

When I was sat in a personal tutor meeting this week as I embark on the final year of my degree, I was asked what I wanted to do after I graduated and I said something to do with drama and young people; but not in education. I know what I want to do with that, I want to get drama into the church as a form of ministry and evangelism. Drama has helped me so much over the past few years and I feel it would be such a good tool to create confident teens, help them to deal with the stresses and troubles of school. Unfortunately, a number of people don’t agree with me wanting to get drama into the church which kinda sucks.

As a Christian, I believe that God has a plan. I believe that He’s given me gifts to use for His glory. Our human plans change, but His plans are set in stone. I don’t know what I’m doing after I graduate so I’m terrified but I have the knowledge that He does. He’ll guide me and give me courage. Coming to uni was God’s plan as I shouldn’t have got in, my grades weren’t good enough, only 6% of care leavers (as of 2011) went to uni…but I’m here.

Dreams are so important to have. Believing in something is important. I’ve given up on dreams, it’s why I’ve not got involved with any of the drama societies at uni because I didn’t feel worthy enough or talented enough or… I don’t even know why I applied to do drama in the first place but I love it. I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t give up. Keep striving for your dreams because one day you’ll get there. Your dreams may change but that’s okay, that’s normal.

Keep fighting, keep trying, keep working. I’ve given up so many times and it’s so hard to get back and working for you’re what you love. Have courage. I don’t have courage so I ask God constantly, to give me courage to do the things He wants me to do. Keep learning, you’ve always wanted to be a rock star? You learn that instrument. Always wanted to write a novel? Get writing.

But please, I beg you – don’t give up. I may not achieve my dream, I highly doubt I will, but I will never forget it. And if one day it comes true, nothing will stop my smile.

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

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