Don’t forget about those “silly childhood dreams.”

By Kendall Tich

As young as elementary school, parents, teachers and role models preach to children “if you can dream it, you can do it”.

If you’re anything like me, by the time you reached high school you started to feel like that wasn’t quite realistic.

However, for 17-year-old Nick d’Aloisio, making his dreams come true was just the beginning.

D’Aloisio, one of Britain’s youngest entrepreneurs recently made millions after selling his cell phone application, Summly, to Yahoo.

D’Aloisio turned a dream he had while taking an exam at school into a multimillion-dollar deal that is likely to set him up for success for the rest of his life.

It’s difficult not to be inspired and motivated by such stories but it’s sometimes even harder to acknowledge your own ability to achieve what may currently seem like the impossible.

Perhaps the biggest dream you will ever chase to achieve is what Paulo Coelho describes in “The Alchemist” as one’s “personal legend”, or goal in life.

As college students, we have a number of common goals: acing an upcoming test, getting a 4.0 GPA or getting accepted into a top graduate program.

These goals become our day-to-day goals that we incorporate into our daily activities and decisions.

Those dreams that we keep in the back of our minds, however, such as creating a billion dollar company, becoming the first female president or travelling to space are hardly ever recognized after a certain age.

This is not necessarily because they cannot be accomplished, but rather because the reality of day-to-day goals is what dominates our lives.

Our dreams are altered during the course of our lives based on the experiences to which we are exposed.

By the time we enter college, we forgo on many of our childhood dreams, using excuses like “it was just a silly dream” or “it was just a phase.”

Although it is important to dream within certain boundaries, diminishing your belief in your own ability to achieve your goal is often the first mistake we make as adults.

College is perhaps the most crucial time in our lives in terms of setting ourselves up for positive and prosperous futures.

Because of this, calling dreams “silly dreams” and forgetting the opportunity to achieve them can have negative consequences on our futures.

For example, take a high school student getting ready to apply to college. She is the first in her family to have graduated high school and is hoping to get a soccer scholarship at a prestigious university next year.

After going through a rough patch with her friends that has translated over to multiple failures in school, she is beginning to worry about that soccer scholarship.

She starts to feel as though going to college was just a dream and something that she cannot accomplish.

From this point on, she will be operating under the notion that she will not succeed—and more often than not, this is what leads to the biggest chance at failure.

Whether your dream may be to start an app like Nick d’Aloisio or to travel the world after graduation, keep those dreams close to your heart even when they seem impossible.

Some of the most successful people in the world began their lives with ong single dream. Those dreams never became “silly childhood dreams” but rather turned into goals and opportunities.

Setting goals and following through with those goals is perhaps the biggest key to succes. As soon as you let go of your ability to dream, you also let go of your motivation to succeed.