Follow your gut, not your dreams

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Follow your gut, not your dreams

By Kaitlyn McCann, Columnist

In the school environment, there is so much anxiety in the air. A lot of it is short term; many people are nervous about classes, stressed about work and tired from running around. But we are all here for the same reason, and we are all feeling the long term anxiety of what will happen after college ends. What will we amount to? Did we chose the right major? Will we be able to get a good job?

If you ask any successful adult for career advice, they will mostly say the same thing. “Follow your dreams!” But it doesn’t add up. Was it really your dream to be an accountant, sir?

These are vague things people tell us to breeze over very serious decisions. Plus, how can we ignore how most of them contradict each other? “It’ll happen when the time is right” or “chase your dreams.” “Live in the moment” or “prepare for your future.”  “Learn from your mistakes” or “everything happens for a reason.”

The sad reality is, sometimes following your dreams means not following the money. Some people might be okay with that, or think they’re okay with that, but it’s still a worrying thought.

So the question arises: Do you continue to do what you enjoy, or force myself to do something you know you could be good at, but don’t like?

The popular lifestyle for millenials is all about chasing money. And a lot of times, this comes with unhealthy practices. “Let’s get this bread!” can mean choosing work over sleep, picking up multiple jobs, and an overall dedication to making money. This is an unrealistic and dangerous way of thinking about making a living.

Journalism for example, is a dying field. In fact, a study by The Authors Guild has found that writing may not even be a liveable career choice soon. Does this mean you should switch your major to business? You’re not sure, but you do know you wouldn’t be happy with it. Maybe you could be the one to find a way to revive journalism, you never know.

Mike Rowe, the host of Dirty Jobs, is a successful man who has an unconventional career. He has made millions off of his TV show where he explores jobs of physical labor not many people consider. He says, “Don’t Follow Your Passion, But Always Bring it With You.”

This is an interesting and brilliant perspective on the workforce. College presents so many opportunities that it is almost impossible to know if you are choosing the right path. Yet, with this hopeful mindset, it can make you feel like success is possible anywhere. With a consistent amount of passion and dedication, even if the dollar signs aren’t there, you can achieve a fulfilling lifestyle.

There is no doubt you will have to spend a lot of time doing whatever you choose. So, make your time in college worth it. We are literally required to take classes outside of our major, so take that opportunity to explore different options. Most importantly, don’t entirely disregard any options you may be interested in.

Should you follow your dreams? No, follow your gut; follow your dreams within realistic boundaries.

Kaitlyn is a freshman in Media.

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