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  • Eichel Davis

The College Journals: Dreamville

You’ll come to realize something. Your dreams are fragile little things. They’re brittle, and sometimes it doesn’t take much to break them. But if there was ever a place that those fragile dreams would grow into big strong realities, it would be in these four years, with these people, on these foundations, in these little college towns.

Welcome to Dreamville.

Everyone always told me that I would find an album that would be so amazing and so perfect, that it would define my college career. But there was no way that my varying music tastes and uncontrolled self would be confined to one album. No way that a group of songs could reach every emotion, or cover all the bases.

Then, in the middle of December 2014, J Cole hit a homerun over the fence, rivaling anything Kris Bryant thundered last season.

2014 Forest Hills Drive was everything I wanted from an album, and everything I wanted in life. It was the masterpiece I hope to create one day. It was the best sports video ever created, the best dress ever designed, and the best business ever run. It was the book at the top of the New York Times Bestseller List. It was the family, the two kids, the nice car, and the house all wrapped up in J Cole’s masterpiece. Everyone dreams of creating a masterpiece, that thing to be revered and praised. In fact it’s the most simplistic dream, to be famous for being you.

And the window starts closing the minute you’re born. From the moment the doctor slaps you on your butt, the clock is ticking on your fame. Through grade school, it’s ticking. From the halls of middle school, till the moment you walk across that stage, the clock is ticking aimlessly. But the moment you step onto a college campus, the clock breaks, and gives you a few moments. It gives you time to explore the dreams you had when you stepped on campus, and the ones that pop into your head while you laid in bed after a long day. It grants you a little break in forever to just dream. No strings. No attachments. No complaints. And no clock. Its why college is such a beautiful blink of days that should be taken with great happiness.

But watch out for the snakes.

Watch out for the non-dreamers. Watch out for the naysayers and the pragmatic thieves that have been swiping fantasies from little children since their own golden days flashed before their confused eyes. They’ll try to tell you no. They’ll try to put you in the same chains that trapped them. They’ll try to fizzle those threads that make you dream of the best outcome.

And they will succeed with some of you. Some of you will allow the snakes in sheep’s clothing to conquer your dreams. And it’s a shame. Because dreams can change the world. Imagine if Bill Gates stopped when he heard no. Imagine if Obama decided that he was meant to stay in Illinois. Imagine if he decided that that was his ceiling. And imagine, for a moment, if Steve Jobs never fought his way back to Apple.

Imagine it. Memorize it. And vow to never dwell there again.

J Cole has already penned the album of my college career. 2014 Forest Hill Drive is the most influential album of my life. It speaks about my home, my dreams, my regrets, my downfalls, my fears, and you. All of you. Because it’s an album about his own little Dreamville. About the struggles, the road, and the end of the road.

So when you get there, when you get into that CEO office, or walk into your own business, or hold that grammy or oscar in your fingertips, close your eyes. Drift back to that dorm room. Drift back to lost late nights, those long days, those tough weeks, those unforgettable memories...and remember.

Remember your own little Dreamville. Because as J said...there's beauty in the struggle.

Talk To You Saturday,

EICHEL | @EichelGDavis


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