I’m a huge advocate for TED talks. You can instantly educate yourself in almost any topic in less than 20 minutes. One of the more recent TED talks, “Before I Die I Want to…” by Candy Chang, provided me with an outlet to empower college students and thus, I took action.
According to her TED profile, “Candy Chang creates art that prompts people to think about their secrets, wishes and hopes — and then share them.” Candy created the wall after the loss of a loved one.
The Before I Die wall was created with the purpose to allow everyone to share their hopes and dreams in life–things they want to achieve before they die. Through communicating these messages, “you remember the things most important to them and allow you to understand your neighbors in a new and enlightening way.”
A group of friends and I are in the process of bringing a wall to our campus, the University of California, Irvine (UCI). As college students ourselves, we understand the day-to-day life on a college campus. We go to class, we study (a little bit), we spend time with friends, go out at night, and stay up to study (among other things) or lose ourselves in our thoughts. Sometimes we tend to get caught in this routine–we become comfortable and aware of only what we’re involved in, oblivious about what others around us are trying to achieve
As a fourth year (okay, senior) in college, I’ve come to realize that the topic of goals, passions, and dreams don’t come up in everyday conversation very much. There are a handful people who actively think about these ideas and take the extra step to communicate them with others. It’s understandable. It’s a touchy topic. No one wants to be scrutinized about their goals or be vulnerable about such personal thoughts. “Who wants to hear me ramble about my passions and goals?” A lot of people, actually–myself included. You never know if someone is willing to help you achieve your goals until you share that goal.
My friends and I believe that bringing a Before I Die wall to UCI would empower students by allowing them to publicly declare their passions and dreams anonymously with other students on campus. This public announcement of their goals would keep students accountable. Think of it as “Hey, I told everyone I’d do this, I’d better do it.” Sharing their passions would also allow students to inspire other students to reflect on their own hopes and dreams in life. When these students realize what they want to achieve, they may be motivated to communicate their own hopes and dreams via the wall.
UCI students, keep your eyes peeled! You might just run face first into the wall while walking down Ring Road and when you do, be prepared to share your dreams because we’re all dying to know.
Find more pictures and learn about the project at the Before I Die Website.
Until next time,