Goals I Will Achieve In Ten Years

As a teenager, I have to conquer the world right now. I do not want to sit idly and have others carve my destiny, because this is my life, and I should be the one deciding the outcome. My generation, Gen Z, is especially prone to this individualistic mentality, as the world has always been centimeters away from our fingertips. Each tap on a screen has opened up a plethora of information for us to analyze and interpret. However, we have been observers for most of our lives and the next few years is our first shot at pursuing adulthood. Now is the time to listen to ourselves only.

At least, this would be the case if 2020 was like every other year.

Imagine if my past self from 2019 timed-traveled to my present. Imagine what she would experience, walking into Superstore only to be kicked out for not covering her face. Imagine her confusion when CNN’s Anderson Cooper lists out numbers in the thousands every evening. It takes her a moment to realize the numbers once had names.

At that very moment, all of her goals for the next ten years seem worthless.

My 2019 self wanted to blindly follow her dreams by taking a gap year, saving some money, and traveling the world without care for responsibilities to her family and society. Her first destination would have been New York, the city of her birth. She wanted to taste the city’s air and street food, rather than consuming the knock-off version through theater screens. She wanted to get lost in the center of Manhattan, dizzy and dreaming about meeting CEO’s and celebrities, riding on the subway, and listening to skyscraper heartbeats with a stethoscope. She always wanted to be in the middle of all the action.

But the world has stopped right now, and there is no action to find the center of. During the first quarantine, a New York Times article quoted Robin George Andrews, a volcanologist, on the following: “The seismometers that geologists use to detect earthquakes also pick up the vibrations of human activity — vehicle traffic, construction equipment, heavy machinery and the like. But with billions of people now staying home, the thumping pulse of civilization is now barely detectable.”

How can I desire to hear the heartbeat of the greatest cities in the world when all I can sense is death? The world had seemed just a grasp away from my hands but ultimately shot straight into the stars. Though this environment may be temporary, the current pandemic mania and economic uncertainty have left me with one conclusion: my goals have to shift. They would have looked much different in a different world, but I, like everyone else, have to adjust my present aspirations to accommodate the circumstances of 2020.

I am working towards becoming a writer one day. Writing articles, poetry, and general fiction provides me with fulfillment to the highest degree. Recently, however, I have been writing more articles about the mindsets and motivations of our uncertain world (fiction is best left for a time that does not feel like fiction). The Economist is my favorite journal for its depth of analysis in politics, insightful predictions of the future, and unbiased nature of rhetoric. I want to work as a journalist for them, covering topics such as government, hidden stories, and the economy. I love learning about and understanding people at both the macro and micro levels. Thus, I believe this career path will allow me to hone my craft of writing and analysis with satisfaction and happiness.

However, after doing extensive research, I have found that one does not need a degree in journalism to pursue this career. Since journalism is such a general line of education, I would rather spend my tuition on a specialization, just in case I am unable to become successful in my desired choice.

The art of words is not my only passion. I also love math. There is something so satisfying about getting to the end of a trigonometric proof after pages and pages of methodical work. I could sit for hours and hours, trying to unlock the true potential of a question, a proof, and an identity. I could gaze at stars for eons and calculate the complexity of their geometry. Then, I could – and would – break all my logical thought into spoken word and persuasive rhetoric in a second. This is simply how my mind works.

Therefore, I wish to study mathematics. Currently, I am considering business with a concentration in finance, as it is highly mathematical and people-oriented, as any career in the business world. I will be able to excel in this field due to my patience and critical thinking skills. Moreover, by minoring in journalism, I will still keep my doors open for an internship. Although my main degree would be in business – as it is the most marketable of my two passions – I would like to complete a certificate program in creative writing at the University of Calgary to keep my skills sharp. Then, I can pursue writing as a side hustle of sorts while I am in university and working.

But life is not only about careers and outward success, is it? I do not wish for my career and status to be the only goal in my mind, for life is multifaceted and incredibly long. There are many other things I want to accomplish before I turn twenty-seven.

Number one would have to be skydiving. I watch videos of people plummeting through the sky in my free time, imagining how amazing it must be to see the world as a bird would. I want to hold a snake. I want to own a motorcycle. I want to meet GaryVee, the one person outside of my family that I look up to. His motto of living life to the fullest without conforming to societal norms has influenced my teenage mindset immensely.

My maxim in life is to complete all of my duties and responsibilities on this earth with grace and perfection, not for the praise of others, but rather to avoid personal regret. I refuse to return to previous chapters of my life only to find empty and half-done pages, simply because I was callous and did not work hard.

Most importantly, however, I pledge to spend every single day of my life building my character, with the end goal of truth and transparency with everything I do. It means admitting past mistakes but also being upfront with people about how they treat me. It means learning to put myself first without feeling guilty. It means to live on this earth without owing anyone but GOD.

In our secular world, faith gives me a ground walk straight on. I wish to live by the beautiful teachings of my religion, Islam, to live a life of purpose, rather than one lead astray by sin and evil. Moreover, in these ten years of my life, I will continue wearing the hijab, the flag of Islam. Regardless of how the world attempts to target my choice of clothing, I wish not to lose myself to conformity. The hijab has given me the confidence to face the world as I am without apology. I would hope my character emulates the symbolism of this piece of cloth as well. The goals mentioned above cannot be quantified. The bar is raised to infinity, meaning that I can never truly reach an end. As a result, I will be forced to work on them no matter the moment or time. 

Finally, as an idealist, there is one goal that orbits my heart daily. I have always loved reading, but after coming into high school – and mainly after Grade 11 English – I began to pay attention to the writers of the books I was reading. Where were they from? What inspired their story? Why do they write for a living? I began to fall in love with the stories of the story writers and wanted a story of my own. Like crystallizing sugar, my mind clicked, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I may fail. I may fall back. But the journey to have my writing improve and be appreciated by the world is something I dream of. I will actively work within these ten years to convert my idealistic dreams into a concrete reality. I want a clear conscience, one ringing true of stories capturing the human condition artfully. Then, and only then, I can live a fulfilling life.

I believe every individual is in this world for a reason, and it is our job to discover, perfect, and thrive in whatever we are meant to do. Circumstances will always attempt to hinder our progress, but patience and perseverance in the face of opposition is a sign of strength and accomplishment. Ten years later, I pledge to live by this fact.

Although I am a little late in the game, I am applying for many scholarships in hopes of funding my college education. In order to keep me accountable, I will be posting one a week until I run out of contests to apply to. This essay had a pretty basic prompt, and I hope my writing is good enough to win the prize!

Scholarship website

Deadline: Before December 15, 2020

Topic: Goals I Will Achieve in Ten Years

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