We all have dreams. Something we desire more than anything else in the world. Maybe something we just thought of last night or something you have dreamt of since the age of six; either way… a dream is a work of art. They all start off as a blank canvas, just waiting to be made into your own personal masterpiece. The beauty of a dream is that you are in complete control of it. But here lies a problem. Great art is the kind that comes to life in the eye of the beholder, which means that the greatest dreams are the ones that YOU make come to life. But how do you make a mental picture come to life? How can you live in a masterpiece, feel it’s presence, own its story?

Well, that’s an answer that only the dreamer can solve. It doesn’t mean that you are on your own, but what it means is that there are going to be people who try to help you… along with people who try to discourage you. There are going to be so many people in your life who try to tell you that, “You can’t do it”; “You’re not good enough”; It’s too hard”. Others may even try to push you into making bad decisions. These people and their comments are NOT worth listening to. Which seems obvious right? I mean, you already know that right? But, it’s a lot harder to do than we sometimes think. People who say you are dreaming “to-big,” “you can’t do it,” “you don’t have what it takes,” “you don’t work hard enough”… are wrong, and that’s that.

They don’t know how hard you may strive to accomplish your dreams every day and every night. No one knows how YOU can succeed more than yourself. Besides, there is a first for everything. So be the first, whether you dream of being an artist or rapper, go for it. Be the first in your own MIND, to go for it. Dreams are meant to be a challenge, otherwise they would be called “doing the dishes.” The reason they’re rewarding is because they’re hard to achieve. The best success is the kind that’s given to someone deserving of the title.

So keep yourself on track! You are the only one who can truly do that. Do NOT let yourself be a part of the group that discourages you… You are the only one who can decide what to do. Only you can truly open the doors to success… So stay focused, stay on track, and FIGHT for your dream to become a reality. You only live one life. You only have one lifetime to achieve your dreams; so don’t waste your time. “Go big and then go home,” because no matter what, you are eventually going to go home… It is where most of us sleep. So don’t give yourself the choice of going big or going home. Always go big and then always go home to where you can sleep without any regrets. “Go big and then go home.” Follow your dreams and never quit working for them. Because you can do it. You don’t have to always have just a dream, one day; your dream can become your reality where you live every single day.

Remember, every great and memorable person in society, Einstein, JFK, Macklemore, Will Ferrel… all started out just like us… Students with a goal… Students with a dream… And students who had the determination to prove all others wrong and succeed. So challenge yourself to go for it. Start now. Take this opportunity of being at conference as a chance to work towards your goals and dreams. Embrace you opportunity here and now. The clock is ticking, and so is the time separating you from achieving your dreams. So go for it! Go big and then go home.

Speech presented by Student Advisory Board Member:
Houghton Lake High School