Pursue your dreams and aspirations without relent



Opinion columnist Cristian Ortiz urges readers to pursue their dreams, regardless how unclear their road in life may seem.

CRISTIAN ORTIZ, Opinion Columnist

We all have dreams.

No, not necessarily dreams in relation to sleeping, although we do have those too, but the dreams of where you long to be, what you aspire to do and hope to change.

Dreams come in an infinite amount of shapes and sizes. That’s the beauty of dreams. They aren’t bound to a specific form. Instead, they adjust and change as we grow and our intentions and ways of thinking change.

We may not always have the same dreams as our younger selves, but we are always dreaming. And then one day we dream a dream that starts a fire, a passion so bright that we know that we’ve found the dream we were born to conceive.

I was struck with this simple, yet very complex concept of dreams and aspirations as I was watching this year’s Super Bowl. I remember thinking that all of the players on the field — even the coaches, the doctors, the referees — were in great, much-coveted positions.

They have put so many hours into working to get where they are. They grew up with a passion for the game of football and fought through injuries, ignored the people who said they couldn’t and continued to persist and persevere. And now they were a part of one of the world’s biggest sporting events. It all started with a single dream.

Again, this past Saturday I was also thinking of dreams when the UNI Campus Activity Board (CAB) hosted the big Andy Grammer concert. I am a concerts co-executive on CAB, so it was awesome seeing this event finally come into fruition.

My role as a co-exec on CAB was as the hospitality rider. I served in that role for Jesse McCartney and now, more recently, for Andy Grammer.

As hospitality rider, I hang out around the green rooms for the artists, making sure they’re comfortable while they are here at UNI, and I walk them to the stage and back, ensuring sure they get there safely and without issue.

As I was walking Andy and his bandmates from the stage, some of them started asking me what I wanted to do for a living after they found out that I am a senior and will be graduating in May.

I told them that I wanted to be a screenwriter. They encouraged me and said they hoped to see me in LA one day pursuing my dream.

It was a really cool moment for me, of course. Andy then gave me some of the podcast shows he listens to, and I told him the ones I obsessively listen to, as well.

As I walked out of the room and sat down outside, I was in awe. I realized that these musicians were also once where I was.

Even the opener for Andy Grammer, John Splithoff, whose name I never heard until we decided to book him for the concert, was a big encouragement.

As I watched him perform from the side of the stage, I realized that he was still pursuing his dream. And I was happy for him. He was able to get the crowd pumped up for the headliner, and he had them singing and clapping in the meantime.

All these spectacular moments feed my dreams. They motivate me to stay up late writing and wake up early to read.

These athletes, artists and other people also inspire me to keep reaching, no matter what stage in my life I am in.

So, no matter what your dream is, pursue it without relent. Don’t let the doubts faze you. Keep going. Keep educating yourself and pursuing your passion projects.

My dream is to create worlds and stories with the simplicity of the 26 letters of the English alphabet. What’s yours?