February: The Month of Dreamers

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You may say I’m a dreamer…

Sorry for the cheesy title, but John Lennon’s “Imagine” kept popping into my head whenever I thought about February’s blog theme: Dreamer. I’ve never really described myself as a “dreamer”; I’m much more practical, down to earth, thinking about what’s realistic. However, there are definitely parts of my that fall into that dreamer category. I’ve always wanted to be someone who could make huge impacts on the world and in the lives of many people. I wanted to solve world hunger, find an answer to homelessness, leave my mark.

In the past few months, as I near graduation, those two parts of me have been in conflict. My realistic side is saying “Find a job that will pay you and get you good experience” while my dreamer side says “Apply for the crazy jobs around the world that will allow you to work in the area you’re really passionate about”. Which side is winning the argument changes at any given time during the day. Now, I’ve always been told that if you get a good job that you enjoy, then you can use your finances and free time to act on your passions. I want to challenge that. I think that our generation can think bigger than that. I think that yes, right out of college we may have to take jobs that don’t exactly line up with our passions, but they can lead us in a direction the “dreamer” side wants to go.

I am a Supply Chain and Operations Management major. But my passion lies in working with refugees and refugee services. The Community Engagement Scholars Program has definitely helped me understand that there is an overlap there. I’ve been volunteering with Lutheran Social Services in Refugee Resettlement, and now I see the inefficiencies in a process that includes so many governments and organizations. It’s not any given organization’s fault, but there is always room to become more “lean” (as any supply chain professor would say) and to make things more efficient. While I may not be able to find an opportunity working high enough up in an international NGO to affect this process now, I do plan on pursuing experiences that will move me in the direction of that dream. In the meantime, I can use my free time to volunteer and continuously learn about the many issues surrounding this area of work.

So sit down and think about it. What is the “dreamer” side of you saying? And how can you act on those thoughts and ideas? You may be able to find a way to reconcile your “realistic” and “dreamer” sides, just like I’m trying to. But the world needs more dreamers, more people who believe in their abilities to make a difference, and I think we can be those people.

-Jenifer

 

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