Money-Oriented Studies: Yes or No?

Does money make the major? Or, should we follow the age-old advice of “following your dreams”?

So often in life we hear or perhaps have experienced ourselves, people being shamed for pursuing supposedly dead-end degrees, even though they align with our passions. However, the opposite is also true: people are shamed for pursuing degrees that will get them money, instead of pursuing their passions.

Passion is a subjective concept.

First of all, the hypocrisy that exists in this argument is astounding. Those same people who are sick of being shamed for their choices of pursuit in school by their family and friends, are turning around and shaming people for the exact same reason, further perpetuating the cycle of alienation.

What other people decide to study in school is none of our business. Every one of us is entitled to make our own choices when it comes to the areas of study we major in, just like we don’t want to be made to feel bad for our choices, so we shouldn’t make other people guilty.

Outside of minding our own business, the other major flaw in this argument is the assumption that the people who are pursuing degrees that they know will get them jobs that make money, is that their path is devoid of passion. Why does it have to be one or the other?

Each of us have our own individual set of goals, priorities, and passions, and it looks different in everyone. While some people are passionate about being able to make music, art, or master obscure math, other people’s goals may have nothing to do with subjects in school.

At the end of the day, we all desire to at least be able to make an income to live comfortably. However, there are plenty of people whose priorities and passions are to make as much money as possible in a secure job, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

People decide to go to school for a myriad of reasons— passion is only one of them. Regardless of the area of study, going to college makes each student a more well-rounded, educated, and capable individual.

Passion is a subjective concept that doesn’t always have to do with one’s career, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

—Aubrey Houdeshell

Money is precious and valuable, especially for college students, where, let’s face it, comfortable bank statements are notoriously scarce. Money is so powerful that it becomes a motive for living: many students strictly pursue a career that promises a good income. This plan presents problems.

Happiness always comes first.

Most of students who are going to school to pursue a career aren’t interested in what they’re studying. Instead of following their passions, they’re thinking about “making bank,” as some cool kids call it. Suddenly, money becomes the goal, rather than earning an education or, forbid, having a job they actually like.

Now, there are several factors as to why money might be the priority over passion, one being culture. Culture can determine your future for you. The South-Asian culture, for example, encourages men and women to become doctors or engineers. Culture can be very important, but as someone who couldn’t care less, your hobbies and interests are what matter most.

Money is not a valid reason for why someone would want to waste four or more years of their life, studying something they don’t want to, only to graduate and end up in a job they went to school for.

What about actually doing what you love? It’s important to ask if it’s worth the sacrifice, if it costs both long-term and short-term happiness. And the answer, every time, is that no, it’s not. Yes, money provides us our needs and wants, and it’s understandable why someone would want a stable life. But happiness always comes first.

Being stuck in a cubicle from nine to five everyday for the rest of a professional life sounds miserable if the job doesn’t incorporate personal passions.

Instead, living in Paris on limited funds chasing lifelong dreams sounds more appealing. Yeah, money might be tight and needs will be met more than wants. But that’s a life that sounds so much more appealing than an office job.

In the end, as much as someone might want to argue, money doesn’t buy happiness.

—Dilkush Khan

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