Big Dream Gathering Sends Students on Journey to Self-Discovery

Sep 17, 2017

Words by Autumn Rietzel

Keynote speaker and success coach Mitch Matthews spoke to students about achieving their dreams on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at the Kent State Student Center.

Matthews is part of Big Dream Gathering, which, according to their website, is a movement that motivates people to achieve their dreams. As a part of the gathering, the audience was encouraged to write their dreams on the walls.  

“It would be cool to get a connection or networking opportunities, I think those are always good,” says Nicole McFarland, a senior interior design major.

McFarland had only watched one video about the gathering on the Kent State event page before joining in on this event.

Matthews, the creator of Big Dream Gathering, went onstage and thanked the audience for “being weird,” and coming out to hear him talk. He proceeded to tell the audience to high five each other in a congratulation on being weird.

The Big Dream Gathering began as an accident with a group of friends back in Des Moines, Iowa. Matthews was down on his luck, so he gathered his friends to write their dreams down, and from there the idea blossomed.

Matthews says moving from the accidental creation of the Big Dream Gathering took a lot of time and commitment to experimenting.

He made it clear that being able to achieve your dreams is about giving yourself permission to dream, and asking yourself: “What if?”

Matthews says he watches people achieve their dreams daily.

“It’s a weird day job,” he says.  “But the dreams that go up on the walls are so important.”  

At the Big Dream Gathering, the audience writes down at least one dream on a piece of paper, then hangs it on a wall. 

After listening to the speech, Mia Bethea, a freshman exploratory major, says she will “think about how to expand [her] dreams more.”

Matthews meets hundreds of people while traveling and giving speeches, and he says he believes it is important that people’s stories are shared.  

“Everybody’s got a story,” Matthews says. “I’m … naturally curious, so I just love hearing people’s stories.”