Yes you should follow your dreams, but be prepared to face your fears

When I decided to return back to school it was so that I could create the career of my dreams. I have always wanted to work as a diplomat. To build this career, I made a plan. First, I wanted to complete a degree  in International Studies. Although I have one degree from the University of Toronto, I opted to complete a second degree at Glendon College; to improve my research, writing and critical thought. I will complete graduate studies  after my second BA and ultimately pursue my PhD and a career with the Canadian Foreign Service. As I am in my thirties, I do have quite a bit of work experience. When I am applying for internships I am often unsure if this works in my favour. I think that more often that not, internships are intended for students who lack work experience. I have work experience, with many transferable skills. I don’t have much of experience in the field I want a career in – International Relations – and so, much of my extra time is being spent trying to accumulate that experience. I am putting myself out there, applying for every possible opportunity to try and catch my break and have a door open (so to speak).

It’s scary putting myself out there. I often wonder if I will be overlooked for internships or jobs I apply for because of my age rather than be considered because of my experience. In the face of my fear of failure, I choose to forge ahead. I always think of a couple of things when I hesitate in moving forward:

1. What’s the worst that can happen? Usually, lack of effort is what causes failure rather than the attempt itself. Each time I apply for a job or internship increases my chances of getting one that fits my career goals. I know that I may not be the ideal candidate for each and every position I apply for, but sooner or later, I will get one that fits my profile.

2. Have no regrets. Regret is a powerful feeling that often leaves you feeling helpless. When I was working, I regretted not doing the degree I wanted and pursuing the career I wanted. Now that I am back in school, I will not give regret any opportunity. I will always try. If I try and fail, I will be happy knowing that I tried.

3. Pursuing my dreams and being unhappy is better than settling and being unhappy. This is what I have learned from my experience.The unhappiness I experienced settling for a job I didn’t have passion for was far more defeating that than any of the unhappiness I feel now.

It also helps to have a support network. I am very fortunate to have a wonderful family. My husband is my biggest cheerleader. My sister, my mom and my dad always have words of encouragement to keep me positive. I have also found a community at Glendon College of classmates who I can rely on for an ear or a shoulder when things get tough. 

Achieving your dreams is challenging. It takes guts, determination and dedication. But the first step is the most difficult. I hope whatever dream you may have, that you find your courage and take that first step. It is well worth it!



8 thoughts on “Yes you should follow your dreams, but be prepared to face your fears

  1. I love this part Neena ‘Achieving your dreams is challenging. It takes guts, determination and dedication. But the first step is the most difficult.’ I have a new resident who is a mature student, I’ll make sure to share your blog with her.


  2. Ha, that’s me! I’m just catching up on your blog before I settle into study mode 🙂 It’s great hearing about Glendon from a mature student perspective. At first I was a bit apprehensive about going back to school at my age (which is silly, because I am still in my twenties), and living in residence (this just made the most sense for me right now), but I think the experience of having worked/travelled the real world has made me more focused and determined in my studies. It was also really encouraging to find that I was able to read and understand your entries written French, considering I haven’t studied French in oh, 13 years 🙂


    • This is great to read 🙂 What are you studying now? Un ami m’a dit qu’il est impossible d’oublier les apprentissages d’une langue. Français est une langue très belle. Je suis heureuse de lire que tu peux comprendre ma français.


      • Linguistics & Languages iBA. J’espère que c’est vrai 🙂 I am looking forward to starting my French classes. Unfortunately starting mid-year meant I wasn’t able to get into any of my major classes, so I am all gen-ed this term, but c’est la vie 😉


  3. Hi, Neenasethi, I wrote an article “How to overcome fear” and googled to find a picture when I came to your blog. Since the main thought of my article is that one should face fear, rather than bypass it, your picture suites perfectly my article. My question: my I use your pic? I guess, you found the pic somewhere in internet too.
    Sorry if I disturb you.
    Have a nice day


    • Hi, I found these pictures on google images. I am not the owner of the pictures; I’m not sure who owns them. You will need to use your own discretion.

      Happy to read that you too are blogging about overcoming your fear.



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