I’ll take a break from distance learning in this post to discuss a more general matter that’s near and dear to my heart: learning as an end in itself, rather than as a means to something else (e.g. a well paying job).
Many young people today go off to college with the notion that happiness in life results from a high-paying salary; and the higher the happier. Therefore they wind up pursuing a field of education that has little to no personal appeal. In short, the student oftentimes makes a sacrifice; that of doing something wholly unfulfilling now, in the hopes that one may find later fulfillment in a lucrative career.
I am sure there are many different factors to be considered that I will not go into here (e.g. money as a status symbol, influence of celebrity culture through television, parental influence, etc.)
I understand that at 18 – 22, most college students are at an age where they are still exploring their options and their interests, and haven’t yet found what it is they are truly passionate about. Believe me, I’ve been there myself. In fact, in a future post, I’m going to share my own personal story of how I once dropped out of community college and years later reapplied to and completed a degree at a major university, and why.
Suffice it for now to say that, from my own anecdotal experience (not to be confused with a scientific survey), when you look ten to twenty years out from college graduation, it seems to me that the number of people that are still employed in a job related to their college degree are in the minority.
Why is this? I’ll offer one possible suggestion. The people that all chose an academic major solely based on the average starting salary of a job in that field eventually woke up to the realization that they hate what they do, and decide to make a career change.
When you compromise and do something you hate, the best you can be is rich and unhappy. At worst you could be poor and miserable.
I’m not saying that poverty is synonymous with happiness -not at all. What I’m saying is this: When you do what you love, you cannot fail. Food for thought.