What Changes Future Dreams?

Lindale Students Dreams Change as They Grow Up


Kaylea Clay as a child and today. As a child, she wanted to be a veterinarian.

Annie Evans

She laughs as she studies a picture of herself as a child. Wearing a princess dress and a huge smile, she’s convinced that one day she would grow up to become royalty. Nostalgically, she sets the photo down and continues her homework.

When you were little, you had big dreams. Princesses and superheroes were realistic occupations that anyone could attain. However, with age, those dreams slowly fade away. They were replaced with dreams of becoming a doctor or a teacher. The question, then becomes, why? Why did these dreams change?  

“When I was little, I wanted to be a dancer,” junior Reece Calverley said. “Then, I wanted to be a veterinarian, then a teacher, and now, I want to be a physical therapist. My grandmother is a teacher, and my other grandmother is in the medical field, so they have both influenced my decisions.”

Growing up, anything can influence a child. The toys they receive, their parents or other family members and the shows they watch. There are no prerequisites to any job or goal.

“Ever since I was little, I wanted to be something involving culinary arts,” junior Moriah Franke said. “My mom is a professional cake-baker, so I was always in the kitchen helping her. I wanted to make the food because she was making desserts. In my family, the grandparents were always really good cooks, and they would have their signature dish, so I wanted to be able to have one, too.”

There becomes an age where adults start becoming realistic with children. High school is a wake-up call to most and realizations that childhood dreams might not be as attainable as they once were start to surface.

“In junior high, I realized that it was probably not plausible to become [an astronaut],” freshman Josh Smith said. “This year, [my goals] have changed a lot because I’ve gotten a lot different interests in the things that I’ve liked, and Coach Klein has changed that, as well. Freshman year has been the biggest influence so far.”  

Time alters everything, including people. In some cases, childhood dreams change simply because the dreamer changed. Nothing influenced the change except for personal growth.

Whenever I was really little, I wanted to be an archaeologist, because I was obsessed with dinosaurs. Now I work with birds, which are modern dinosaurs, so the dream came full circle, which I didn’t really plan for.”

— Sam Saunders

“As I got older, my interests changed, I discovered new things I liked and things I didn’t like and my personality changed, too,” junior Maddie Mezzell said. “ A lot of the changes I went through were just growing up and realizing that you can’t be whatever you think would be the coolest. You have to think about how [the job] is going to provide for you for the rest of your life.  I think you have to be more realistic. I still have a lot of time to figure [what I want to do] out. I’ve always loved history, but my major will probably change in college, and I’m sure what I wind up being is not what I wanted to be now.”

In some cases, the original dream never changes. There are other ideas thrown into the mix, but the first goal ends up as the final destination.

“Whenever I was really little, I wanted to be an archaeologist, because I was obsessed with dinosaurs,” substitute teacher and seasonal field technician Sam Saunders said. “Now I work with birds, which are modern dinosaurs, so the dream came full circle, which I didn’t really plan for. My junior year, I thought I wanted to do engineering, but before I started college, I realized I didn’t want to sit in front of a computer all day, so I majored in environmental science. I do enjoy teaching, so after I get my masters, I am going to evaluate whether I’m going to go into the teaching route or continuing to research as a state biologist.”

In some cases, as a child, all of the options for an occupation are unknown. There are common jobs that are taught to children, but many kids don’t find out about until they reach an older age or discover the job on their own.  

“I believe that my goals from when I was a child have changed because my spectrum of knowing how many jobs were out there has grown,” sophomore Kaylea Clay said. “I was never really taught what child psychology, my current goal, was as child. I didn’t know about it until I found out about it myself.”