Choosing Money Over Dreams Guarantees Unhappiness

A recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows that some college students choose their major based on how much tuition they’ll pay at a certain college and how much money they’ll make after the fact. As far as I’m concerned, those students can pretty much expect a life of regret, and probably unhappiness.

The article explains how some advisers (in high school and college) have convinced some students to turn to careers with higher monetary gains, rather than doing what they love. That’s — pardon my language — bullshit.

If someone is truly passionate about what they want to do in life, they’ll find a way to make it work, regardless of what any adviser thinks is best. Most students who plan to attend college have a pretty good indication of what their career choice looks like from a financial perspective. And if they really care about it, yearly salary won’t matter.

Yeah, I know it matters in some sense just for the fact that you’ll have bills to pay and all that grown-up stuff that nobody likes to think about. But if you’re getting into a career for the money, I just can’t see how you can be content with yourself. If I wanted a writing career with a better salary, I would have been over in the Speech Comm department at SIUE studying public relations as my major instead of my minor. And really, can you imagine a future journalist saying, “Oh, yeah. Let’s go cover board meetings and riots so we can get rich to pay off loans and buy expensive things!”…?

But to get back on track, honestly, I would have more respect for a counselor who is upfront with me, saying, “Look, you’re not going to make a lot of money. But if this is what you want to do, and you feel you’ll be happy doing it, go for it. And I’ll do whatever I can to help you find scholarships or grants.”

Steering students away from their goals isn’t the job of a counselor or adviser. They counsel. They advise. They don’t convince students to walk away from their dreams.


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