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7 Things We Wanted to Be When We Grew Up

Sakhita Sharma

Disney said that “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”, and there is no age when we’re bolder and more dreamers than when we’re children. During our childhood, our dreams are more vivid, limitless, and well, Disneyfied, meaning that more often than not, the things we dreamt of doing when we grew up were observed through “rose-coloured” Ray-Bans.

Regardless of the reality, the role models we looked up to were our heroes. Extraordinary individuals who were making the world a better place one adventure at a time, and with their smiles and waves of encouragement, they inspired us to live out our fantasies until we knew better. In the age of optimism, dungeons, and dragons, here are seven things we wanted to be when we grew up.

1. Footballer

Arguably the greatest players of our time, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimović, to name a few, single handily scored the hearts of a generation of young boys and girls who loved football.

Making us sweat trying to become like them, these football players’ fancy footworks gave strength to our aspirations of football fame. Whether it was practising in the park after school, on the field at lunch times, or with your school bag on the way to or from school, no time was wasted in polishing up those tricks we would premiere in The Beautiful Game.

2. Zoo Keeper/Vet/Marine Biologist

Let’s face it, when we were kids, we spent our days nursing fur babies or sea creatures back to health, and once they were better, it was playtime.

If your heart belonged to the four-legged domesticated darlings, your love for animals manifested a career as a vet; if you longed to spend your days with Simba, Baloo, and Bagheera, you were going to be Tarzan in a suit at your local zoo; and if you fancied yourself a dolphin whisperer, you were going to be a Marine Biologist for Nemo and friends.

3. Magician

Whether it was because of Harry Potter and the gang at Hogwarts, or simply because of the guy who came to your fifth birthday party and performed tricks for all your friends and family, at some point in all of our lives, we’ve wanted to be a wizard magician.

From pulling rabbits out of a hat and performing crafty card tricks to knowing your Expelliarmus from your Wingardium Leviosa, witchcraft wizardry and wonderment were all part of the enchantment of childhood.

4. Pop Star

Every generation had one: a pop star of their time. From Michael Jackson through to Justin Bieber, talented vocalists throughout the ages have always ignited the passions in the youngest of us to follow the path to popdom.

Whether it was holding private concerts in our bedrooms for mum and dad or performing at your school’s morning assembly, at one time in our lives, the opportunity to flex our vocal chords had us dreaming of life on the big stage.

5. Innovator

Growing up at a time when an Apple or Blackberry were more than just a fruit, it comes that many of us dreamt of becoming entrepreneurial innovators.

Whether it was the inspiration you gained from a science project, a creative spark ignited during an art class, or simply being raised in the digital age, many of us continued to dream of adulthood as the time when we would build our inventions into business successes. The likes of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg meant that suddenly tech and specs were all the rage. It was cool to be clever.

6. Explorer

What did Indiana Jones and Dora the Explorer have in common? It’s not a mean haircut if that’s what you’re thinking. No, rather, it was a love for adventure.

Watching these intrepid explorers journeying throughout the world to taste global gourmet delicacies, learn about new cultures, and make a handful of new friends along the way, we too fell in love with life on the road. Some of us still do.

7. Teacher

Regardless of the fact that none of us ever got passed taking the register of classroom attendance, playing teacher was a lot more fun than going to school as a student.
The allure of power for disciplining our peers meant that at least at one point in time, we’ve all taken hold of the red marker pen and taken on the role of teacher with much pride and joy.

Instilling wisdom in the minds of the young and the restless, our teachers inspired us to pursue our passions, expand our horizons, and never stop dreaming of becoming exactly who and what we wanted to be. And that earned them nothing short of the respect and admiration of the wide-eyed, bushy tale versions of ourselves from the past.


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What did you want to be when you grew up? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the perfect student home on Uniplaces.

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