School impacts students’ future aspirations


Sophie Shive

Gabe Balakirskiy (’25) and Megan Warrenfeltz (’23) pose in front of the Hereford college and career readiness sign. Both shared their view on how school impacts their dream.

Sophie Shive, Reporter

The problem is schools teach people with different mindsets and dreams the same mindset.

— Gabe Balakirskiy (’25)

At a young age, dreams and aspirations for the future control our minds. We imagine flying to outer space, becoming a zoologist, or playing a professional sport. As we become older, we become realistic. Our dreams don’t go beyond our qualifications. For some people school humbles their dream and for others it helps them achieve it. For example, lessons taught me to push myself academically to succeed and ascend to the next level of education; but they also taught me not to set my expectations on unattainable ideas for the future. Instead of allowing my imagination to design my future I let money, opportunities, and school take control. But for other people the programs offered at school help and even inspire their future. 

Growing up, teacher Chris Rose said he had big dreams to tour Europe and Asia, become a diplomat, and explore the world; however, he didn’t because of the pressure to keep a stable job and make money. He regrets not following that dream and experiencing more.  

Some people follow their dreams to escape school.  

 “I feel like school is very stressful and I want to skydive so I can feel free and like the weight is lifted off my shoulder,” Georgia Naden (’23) said.  

Schools also hurt dreaming by introducing career preparation too early. Starting in middle school seven-year plans, a document outlining students future, and career/college fairs are required. I started receiving pamphlets for different colleges when I was just 13.  

“The problem is schools teach people with different mindsets and dreams the same mindset,” Gabe Balakirskiy (’25) said. “Not everyone wants to do the same thing or have the same job.” 

Rather than enforcing tests and programs that fit students into boxes and tell them what they should like, schools should give opportunities and time for them to explore who they are and what they want to do. There’s more to life than finding a job.  

“Students should be able to use school as a way to explore their dreams, discover what they’re passionate about, and find themselves, without feeling like they’re doing something wrong,” Rose said.   

However, for some people school helps. Claire White (’23) wants to work for the United Nations as a diplomat that promotes peace and denounces fascism. White said that the Model United Club and her AP World History class made her want to be a diplomat. Showing even dreams that aren’t traditional can start because of school.  

Megan Warrenfeltz (’23) wants to backpack through Europe to learn new things and discover who she is through the adventure. In school she takes Spanish. Learning another language made her interested in traveling and experiencing different cultures.  

School can even prepare people by teaching hard lessons.  

“School has taught me that it’s really hard to achieve your goals because people will doubt you,” Brooke Sarratea (’23) said. “But it also taught me you have to shut out those people and work on yourself.” 

Logan Chalk (’23) wants to go to Colorado to make memories and explore the mountains once he graduates. He said school has motivated him by allowing him to be and do what he wants.  

Dreams only become unattainable when people believe they are. Hard work is required for any goal, not just academic ones. Follow your dreams.