Elena’s Essay: Dear underclassmen…


Elena Rodriguez, Photo Editor

I spent the entirety of my “childhood” asking what it was I wanted to be when I was older. When I was younger and did not understand what anything was, I would answer with the typical answers, “doctor,” “lawyer,” or “superhero.” When I entered middle school, however, it became more difficult to answer the question. What did I really want to be? What was it to “be” something?

When I heard what others wanted to be I would always ask why, not because I actually cared for the emotions their answers were stemming from but because I needed a basis for myself before I decided what I wanted to be. The answers were always the same. “I want to be rich and famous.”“I want my children to have what

I didn’t have.” “It seems like the best option.” Then I entered my freshmen year of high school and the people who asked mewhatitwasI want to do with my life were no longer the doting adults who were interested in my future but the pessimistic versions of their former selves, asking not because they cared but because they had been patiently awaiting or professionally appointed for the sole purpose of knocking out childhood dreams. The adults were meant to wake us up with the cold dose of reality that had been stolen from us as children. I could not help but ask myself whether or not the bubble of impossibly possible realities had helped or harmed our ability to critically think about our future. The truth is that the world is impossibly political, and what was supposed to be our developing years, the years we not only learned how to move our arms and legs but learned right from wrong and unconsciously developed the morals we now live by, became a time where we were told we were six foot tall and bulletproof. Then, suddenly, from the time we graduated elementary school to the time we entered middle school, the world changed for us. It is no longer okay to build up a child’s dreams and tell them that anything they wish to achieve is possible, yet it is not okay to award children based on what they have achieved because it is unfair to everyone else. Everything is no longer possible and though we have footprints on the moon we are limited by what is socially acceptable to everyone else.

We live in a world that is constantly contradicting itself, but regardless of all the nay- sayers and go-getters, there is one commonality no one ever changes and nothing will ever be any different tomorrow than it is today.

So if you pull me aside one day,andaskwhatitisIwishtodo with the rest of my life I’ll tell you, and it is not something I want to do, or something I hope to do, it is something that I will do. I am going to change the world. Whether it’s my world, the world around me or even just the great state of Texas, I am going to make a difference. I irrevocably believe that if you do not like something, then you have to change it, you have to do something about it because I do not believe that there should be limits to what it is we can do for the world when we do not even know how it is the world came about. The world is capable of change regardless of what it is people say. Small or big, people do make a difference. So go out there, do something crazy and reckless and change the world.