When you were younger, did you dream of being a superhero? A mermaid? A dog?

As kids, we often hope to be the thing that we most admire, or that seems exciting.

As we grow older, we often realize that those occupations aren’t what we’d imagined, or that our skills and interests align better with other options.

Still, it’s worth recapturing that excitement and belief in unlimited possibilities from our youth.

When you were a kid, what did you dream of growing up to be? Has that dream changed? How so?

Here’s how some of you responded to that query at the CES Weekly Table:

“I dreamed of growing up to be a mermaid. It changed when I found out mermaids probably don’t exist. Now I want to own a bakery.”

“I used to want to be a maid when I was little because I wanted people to come home and be happy to see a clean house. As I grow, though, I realize there are other, more lasting ways to make people happy and I’d like to do something to that effect.”

“I wanted to be a waitress. I was amazed by their ability to balance all those dishes.”

“I wanted to be a professional basketball player, but I’m not very good at basketball.”

“I dreamed of being a super-hero! But I can’t develop superpowers. I’m geared more toward creating art designs nowadays.”

“I wanted to be Britney Spears. Well, that job is taken and now I think I have higher, more realistic aspirations.”

“I dreamed of being a writer. Now I prefer programming. The results are faster and more rewarding, there are fewer ways to fail, and logic is easier than grammar.”

“I wanted to be an urban planner. I job shadowed and didn’t like it. I’m still interested in urban and environmental issues, but from a policy perspective.”

“I wanted to be a Paleontologist. But I realized one day that it consisted of sitting in a desert, digging up bones and studying them. That sounds really boring.”

“I wanted to be a doctor, but I’m scared of blood. Now I study psych.”

“I dreamed of being a singer, but I can’t sing. I have always loved travel, however, which led to the development of my foreign policy and international relations interests.”

“I wanted to be Batman. Now, being a college professor is possible.”

“I wanted to be a dog. Now I’m more focused on people.”

“I dreamed of being a professional snowboarder. But I’m not good enough. New dream: happiness.”

“I wanted to be an astronaut. That dream hasn’t really changed, though I don’t think I’ll be an actual astronaut, but a rocket scientist.”

“I wanted to be a horseback rider. I’ve never even ridden a horse, so I decided to scale back my ambitions.”

“I dreamed of growing up to be a lawyer. My sister is the lawyer—it’s not the right fit for me.”

“I wanted to be a farmer. I still work on them in the summer but I’d rather have an easier job.”

“I wanted to be a summer camp counselor. I became a camp counselor. Dream realized. Moving on!”

Take some time to consider your current career goals. Thinking about what you want is an important part of your career development—even if you’re in no hurry to “grow up!”

Unsure of what you want? Take career assessments to identify potential paths, explore the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) Network to see what others have done with their degree, or meet with a career advisor to devise a plan for exploration. CES can help. Just ask!

Photos: jepoycamboy, KevinOQ, Banjo Brown
© 2012 Career and Employment Services, University of Puget Sound