1st Year Experience Adjusting Dreams Deferred MyStory Happenings Project MyStory

Dreams, Love, and Hate: Writing My Own Chapter

When did you learn what you truly wanted to be when you grew up? It's hard to know the answer to the question when your whole life was written for you


Inspired by Alex Johnson’s Story, Kiara Hernandez (Class of 2019) sent me the following letter about her 1st year experience. Since her letter fits nicely into Tiffany Araya’s Dream Deferred blog series, we have included it here. Thank you, Kiara, for sharing your story.

Hello Dr. ———–:

My name is Kiara Hernandez and I am not a student of yours, and we have never ever met. I do have a friend who is a vocal music major and she recommended you to answer my question.  As the title of the email, my question is, “What should you go for in life? Your dreams, or should you be realistic? See, I am a freshman. This is my first semester, and I am a Biology major.

When did you learn what you truly wanted to be when you grew up? It’s hard to know the answer to the question when your whole life was written for you.

My whole life, my plan was to become a doctor. That was the goal, the only goal, and my family fully supported it (and didn’t expect anything else)  because of the monetary side of becoming a doctor. I thought being a doctor would be great because I would be able to help others, but, when I came to UAlbany, reality hit me. Of course, I knew what these courses and college expected, yet, I did not find biology, and especially, chemistry, as
Beakersinteresting as I thought. Sure I can find some sickness or disease on the internet and find it fascinating, but learning from a textbook, never mind barely having time to process all of the information, made it all boring. I hate my chemistry laboratory, the only class which is hands on. My partner, who says he wants to become a police officer, liked it more AND did better than me! Huh? Anyway, that should be my favorite class. My roommate, who is also a Biology major, loved the class. I hated it. My favorite part of the class was cleaning up because I found it relaxing to wash the beakers and test tubes with the cold water and soap. It also meant we were almost done with the class. I learned this a month into the semester, and my grades began slipping, as the lack of passion and desire was not there. I struggled with depression.

kiara blog pic 1Yet, music was always there. I believe God has given me a beautiful voice, and I love singing. I sang every time I could in my dorm. I love theatre, I love dancing, I love English, I love the arts! I love anything in which someone can express themselves! I find it beautiful! I don’t like cold, hard, factual science. I can find it fascinating, but I could never compare it to the love I have for the arts. I have friends who are Theatre majors and I envy their schedules. Play Analysis? I wish I could explain why a character fits into a certain plot, what he symbolizes, ect, etc. Yet, instead, I learn how two atoms form bonds and learn how to draw them with Lewis structures. I guess, what I’m really trying to say is, I know I love music, and I want to learn more about it. I want to minor in it. I say minor, because part of me is still afraid I could not have a financially safe future with a music degree, so I would like to major in something else. That “else”, could be anything.

I am going undecided next semester because I have haven’t tried or thought of anything else. Am I doing the right thing? I’m scared for the future. I’m afraid of not knowing, of not being sure, especially when I thought I had my whole life mapped out for me. I wish I knew I was making the right choice. In the end, I’ve already made a choice. Financially, I’ve become a burden to my mother, who is the only one working in my family. She is working so I can go to school, and I believe that is unfair. I am transferring to a community college for next semester, as undecided, and will take my time learning who I am there. How did you figure yourself out? When did you learn what you truly wanted to be when you grew up? It’s hard to know the answer to the question when your whole lifkiara blog pic 3e was written for you. Now that I’ve been given options, and choices, I have no clue what to do with them. I’m sorry for this rant, but thank you for taking the time to read all of this.

I know it is late, but, good night.

Kiara Hernandez

Established in March 2015, Project MyStory is a community building effort to help students better acclimate to UAlbany and to work more effectively toward their goals. We began in UAlbany’s Academic Support Center (ASC), where you will see many of the posters featured above. We are now co-housed in ASC and in the Center for International Education and Global Strategy (CIEGS).

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