I learned early on that one of the secrets to campus leadership was the simplest thing of all: speak to people coming down the sidewalk before they speak to you. I did that in college. I did it when I carried my papers. I would always look ahead and speak to the person coming toward me. If I knew them, I would call them by name, but even if I didn't I would still speak to them. Before long, I probably knew more students than anybody in the university, and they recognized me and considered me their friend.
Never, and I mean never, allow anyone else's ideas of who you can or can't become sully your dream or pollute your imagination. This is your territory, and a 'Keep Out' sign is a great thing to erect at all entrances to your imagination.
If a frog is placed into a pot of boiling water it will immediately try to jump out; but if it is placed into a pot of cool water that is gradually heated until boiling, it will stay put and never try to jump out.