The Last Lecture: Really Achieving My Own Dreams

Often, people use hypothetical contexts to assist their mind in considering abstract ideas, such as “if your time came to die tomorrow, would you be content with your life?” However for Randy Pausch, who passed away in 2008, the question of how to find fulfillment, and whether had done so in his own life was far from theoretical. Before beginning that fall semester, Pausch had learned that he was terminally ill. With this in the back of his mind, he began to write a talk for Carnegie Mellon University’s series of lectures, rather ironically billed as the “The Last Lecture.” He chose to give his advice to students, faculty, and family gathered in the hall on how to remember their childhood dreams and inspiration, as well as the importance of pursuing those dreams.

This may seem excessively obvious, but one must have a dream to pursue it. Pausch was quick to remind people that we were once full of conviction in our dreams; I know that when I was younger I wanted to be a firefighter more than I wanted life. Unfortunately, though, we cannot all become presidents, astronauts, or superheroes. The point that the professor makes is not really about our dreams as a child, but our ability to visualize what we want to achieve as adults. School requires a great deal of dedication if you wish to go far, and dedication denotes inspiration. I have known for a long time now that I wanted to get into a good college. Thus I committed myself to studying hard for the SAT, and each time I took the test, I improved. The Bell Policy Center, the non-profit I currently intern at, works to create educational, economic, and healthcare opportunities for disadvantaged Coloradans. My time there has inspired me to grasp that sentiment I loved about being a firefighter – helping those in need – with other interests I have (such as politics) and perhaps a safer work environment.

Youth are often pigeonholed for being apathetic in the way they approach everything. To an extent, this is true....