This page was last updated on the 26th of July, 2015 by editor and webmaster Patrick Carpen.
From the book “My Dream: My Life” by Aidan Ellis-Patterson.
The last week of school is always an interesting one. Tears, happiness, joy and mixed emotions always play out. Then there’s the fear of the unknown; or the fear of the next chapter in our lives. Maybe you won’t see your friends for a long time or maybe you start to realize that you’re about to enter the real world!
Everyone experiences different feelings and emotions and express them in different ways. My last week of school was a typical affair: the school ball, subject farewell, parties/exam preparation and a pretty easy-going and relaxed time.
I knew that if I did well in my exams that I would be pursuing a BA in Launceston the following year. That is, for the best four years. On the other hand, so many others still had no idea of their plans. An interesting thought as we have around 13 years of schooling to think about it.
During my school days I felt like the average boy. I liked sports, having a good time, chasing girls and of course causing trouble. I wanted to drink beer every weekend, go the gym everyday and to be ‘cool’. However it wasn’t until the last week of school that I realized something. I was different!
Of course, growing up, I knew people had different interests. However it was this moment during my last week which really shaped the next 12 years of my life.
During our last lesson of sociology, our teacher, Helen, asked us a simple question to finish off our last lesson with her. She asked everyone to grab a piece of paper and to answer the one question in any way we wished. The question was, “what is your dream?”
Momentarily the ideas of big house, fancy car and lots of money blazed through my mind. But I soon realized that these things were not that important to me. A dream is something of more sentimental value! The slowly erupting classroom noise that follows a period of silence told me that everyone else had finished writing. I wrote down my dream and placed it in a Michael’s hat!
Helen quickly decided to read out the dreams and give us the usual “best wishes” and “study hard” compliments. As Helen started to read the dreams something quickly became apparent. All my friends and classmates were dreaming of material things. I want to be a millionaire, I want a porche, I want to be rich and famous. I want to marry Brad Pitt ( I hope that was a girl haha).
As Helen read out my dream it struck me that my dream was the only one not materialistic or seemingly achievable!
This was the first time in my life I knew that I was different, or shared a different philosophy in life! As my goal was read out it was greeted by a few murmurs and a sense of what sort of dream is that? The dream read: I want to travel to 100 countries and all continents before my 30th birthday.
The whole notion of a gap year appealed a lot to me. I thought about going to England and playing cricket and working with children. I imagined this would be a pretty amazing experience. On the other hand I was already in study mode and I thought of a fantastic year away in England. I also thought of how coming back to study didn’t appeal at all. I thought let’s do the hard yards first. During my university days, travelling and fulfilling my dream was a pretty distant reality.