Image from StockSnap.

Image from StockSnap.

So let’s just say that something that wasn’t supposed to happen — you know, your dream college sent you a letter that contained certain words you didn’t necessarily want to read, or maybe that pricey college tuition is too pricey, or maybe something came up and you can’t leave home until you’re 30 — and suddenly, you’re diagnosed with a case of Unfulfilled Dreams Syndrome. It’s a painful epidemic that plagues many eager students of America. The symptoms include disappointment and frustration. You just can’t believe that you worked hard to achieve a goal you ordered on a silver platter, and it won’t even be served to you. Thankfully, such illness is temporary, and can be handled easily. While you can drown your dread by distracting yourself in activities that make you happy, the most resourceful method of overcoming your Unfulfilled Dreams Syndrome is by working on a back up plan.

Having to face the fact that you cannot walk the path you wanted to take is difficult, but that should not prevent you from chasing your ultimate goal; there are numerous roads to take to achieve your goal, so don’t limit yourself to one plan. A back up plan, of course, should aid you in achieving whatever it is you want to achieve, but unlike your desired plan, a back up plan should include methods to help you conquer the worst case scenarios.

Let’s say that every one of your dream colleges rejects you, and now the apocalypse is happening because you were so set on going to Stanford or USC. If you receive more college letters, and the schools that accept you have programs that you feel won’t benefit you, don’t attend those schools. Your back up plan isn’t supposed to make you settle for less.  Seek solace in community colleges that will motivate you to strive. For example, Diablo Valley College students are 67% more likely to successfully transfer to top schools such as UC Berkley, UC Davis, and San Francisco State University. The school’s successful transfer program the top spot in the state of California. Find a community college such as this around your area, and if you feel that it will help you, apply as soon as you can!

While coming up with your back up plans, make sure to communicate with your parents, guidance counselors, and other people who will make an impact on your future in the next four years. Keep in mind that just because you are working with a back up plan should not exclude you from working as hard as you would if you were going with your first plan; you should put as much effort as you would no matter what plan you ultimately work on. Again, don’t make yourself believe you should settle for less while working for your goals. Try as hard as you can no matter what path you have to end up taking.

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