by ASHLEY PRESTON, Staff Writerashley preston (1)

When you’re little, you formulate ideas in your head about what you want to do, who you want to become and where you want it to happen. As you grow up, reality begins to make you think that maybe your dreams were a little far-fetched, so you make adjustments to what you think will be more “probable” for your success. I’ve watched other people do it and I have done it myself. We don’t want to set ourselves up for failure on purpose, so we like to set goals that are more in reach and if our original plan works out, it’s just an added bonus.

I’ve recently made my biggest dream come true. I was accepted to The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor as a transfer.

I had planned to apply to Ann Arbor for Fall 2015, but as time went on, I started to lose hope in myself. I didn’t want to apply again to hear once again that I failed. I told myself my dream had to change; I was wrong.

After coming to Dearborn, I learned that I had a valuable talent: writing. Without the encouragement and help of my professors, family, friends and The Michigan Journal, I honestly don’t know when or if I would have ever discovered my love for writing.

I want you to know, from me to you, that you can always make your dreams happen. When they seem out of reach, try anyway. Don’t change them. And if you fail twice, you’re a hell of a lot stronger that the ones who never tried.

You don’t have to let fear make decisions for you. You’ve got to look in the mirror and see that you are someone who is as capable as anyone of being great. If no one ever failed, no one would ever succeed. It is only through failures that we learn how to succeed; not trying is essentially denying yourself the opportunity for success. You deserve more than that.

Had I been too afraid to try again, I would never have had the chance to succeed. And while making an attempt is only half the battle, the other half being hard work and dedication, it is often the most difficult decision to make.

“I stand here before you now, the Valedictorian, the supposed best of our class, and I want to tell you that I am also afraid. Because you can never predict what’s going to happen in the future, you can only plan for it.”

Ryan Danko, the Valedictorian of my high school graduating class, shared those words with us on Graduation Day. I think they’re important to hear. It doesn’t matter how academically high you rank, where you come from, or what you believe in, we all have fears of the future. The only sure way to face them is to try.