Now that I am almost finished with my college career, I think it is absolutely ludicrous to try and figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life at 18 years old. We’re pressured to pick a college, pick a major, pick the right electives, pick our future career path and we’re still teenagers!
When I’m a parent, I am going to make sure that my child knows that the one thing that they have is time. Time is on our side and yet we spend so much of it stressing or daydreaming or otherwise just not living our lives. We grow up faster and faster and because of that we become so bitter at such a young age. The American Dream, to our generation is on life support, if not dead. The American Dream is to make sure that we can pay off our thousands of dollars of debt and still provide for our family. It’s to make sure that our degree is worth the money, or that we use it in any kind of relevant field.
I went into college knowing what I wanted to do. Or at least thinking that I did. And now, three years later, I am so burned out that I have no passion for anything anymore. College beats students down so much that it’s almost impossible not to question everything. What am I doing with my life? Did I choose the right major? Should I take an unpaid internship or pay my bills with an irrelevant job? Am I supposed to know what I want to do after school? Am I making the right decisions? Will this class ever help me in the real world??
I asked my four year old nephew, “Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?” and he said, “No, what?!” And I feel the exact same way. People have stopped asking me what I want to do when I “grow up” which implies that I am a grown up. When did that happen? I still feel like I’m just barely getting by with all the classes that I’m taking. Now the question they ask is “What do you want to do when you graduate?” And to that I reply, “I don’t know, figure out what I want to do with my life, figure out how to make good use of my degree, learn how to make it in the real world without loans and a roommate and classes everyday.”
College is not for everyone. We, as Americans, really need to stop telling people that it is. Pushing as many people into colleges devalues degrees and we are doing a disservice to ourselves and society.