The editor's soapbox: Keep dreams alive

    The typical college student has plenty to worry about: classes, jobs, graduate schools, roommates, majors, relationships, their respective places in our rigid social, economic and political spheres — not to mention the need to discover their identity and how to contribute to the world and human race. The list could extend for days, which is yet another worry because worrying about so many things cannot be good for you.

    College is a far cry from high school, when a pulse and a relative cognizance of what’s socially acceptable steered you through the superficial seas of adolescence. It was a time when the biggest worries were whether someone liked you and what lie you could feed to your parents so they would allow you to go to a party and get fabulously drunk.

    But now, faced with the greatest freedom and most opportunity we’ll ever have, students have to worry about how they want to indelibly stamp their mark upon the world.

    Don’t we all want some sort of means of recognition from society? Don’t we want a sign from the world that our existence has meaning, a hope that before the brief light of our lives flickers out in the vast darkness of time and space, a knowledge that someone will have seen our flame and appreciated its warmth?

    A good deal of UCSD, it seems, wishes to pursue this goal of appreciation by society through medicine — through curing the world of its broken legs, fevers, appendicitis and failing organs.

    Others envelop themselves in political science, hoping their place in society will be one of political power and influence, since our society somewhat respects those with enough power to mold it.

    Still others seek to distinguish themselves with money, and they pursue management science and economics with eyes open to the reverence and respect that our capitalistic culture gives to little green pieces of paper.

    Some seek to be scientists, engineers or researchers — all with the sublime hope of achieving eternal recognition and remembrance, as surely every educated youth confident in his or her own immortality has felt at one point or another.

    Yet part of this worry by my peers, my friends and classmates, and of course, by myself is monumental doubt in our ability to achieve this immortality.

    As the youthful innocence fades and begins to be replaced by worries of money and debt, as well as simply being able to survive in the “”real”” world, these ambitions and dreams are replaced by overwhelming, mundane concerns. In the wilderness of the real world, doctors take bribes from pharmaceutical companies, politicians embezzle, and businesses cheat and exploit whoever they can, as long as it means greater profits.

    Somewhere in the space between impetuous youthful resolve and pragmatic self-serving disregard for others, the dreams fade. The idealism becomes subjugated to selfish concerns and the vision is lost.

    As college rockets us toward the real world and the time when we must choose between grasping our dreams and ambitions tighter or releasing them and falling under the sway of the American cultural “”me first”” ideology, I urge everyone to not become so involved in their concerns and not to ignore the outside world.

    There is still plenty to be done in this great world of ours. There is a world environment slowly collapsing under the massive weight of its uncaring inhabitants, there are whole countries starving to death, and there are millions shivering on the streets — all unseen or avoided by a world population too concerned with the imagined importance of minuscule individual superficial needs.

    I sincerely implore all the readers out there who despair during those quiet moments of introspection, those people who feel themselves slipping under the oppressing waves of the world: Don’t cave in.

    Don’t sacrifice your ideals for a culture and society that are perhaps the most ruthless in the world. Don’t buy into America’s philosophy of money first, morals, integrity, honor and justice second. Don’t let the flashiness and bright packaging of our society fool you and hide the serious issues that riddle our nation and world.

    There are still many problems that need to be faced that are easily seen by the youth who have yet to have been force-fed their individualism to the point where they have lost their sense of community.

    There is still a chance to save a world that quietly screams for help; there is still a chance to fulfill our dreams of making a difference.

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