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I think a lot people misunderstand "do what makes you happy"

JerskiJerski 5 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Forum Champion
There is a common rule of thumb when choosing a major that usually goes something like "do what makes you happy, not just what makes the most money". I strongly agree with this statement, but I think a lot of people interpret it incorrectly.

Many people seem to take it as "major in the subject that you like the most/hate the least".

Consider a typical work week. If you subtract all the time that you spend sleeping, you spend almost half of your conscious life at work. But, the other half is spent at home relaxing, doing house work, raising kids, etc. You should be reasonably happy with both your professional life and you personal life.

If you just go for the money, you could have a good personal life, but a job that you absolutely hate. A dreadful job will mentally spill over into your personal life. And this goes on day after day for many decades.

On the other hand, if you pick your favorite subject, but it pays 30k and has high unemployment, you may like your job, but you are sure going to be hating life when it comes time to pay the bills and you realize you don't have enough money to buy any thing or go anywhere. Or your car is constantly breaking down and you can't afford proper medical care for your family.

That's why both aspects are equally important to consider. You should be reasonably happy at work and with your finances. If you happen to have a love for engineering or would love to be a surgeon, you are very fortunate. If you just happen to hate all of the fields that pay more than a high school diploma, then maybe college just isn't for you.

Some people should just be willing to accept that college simply is not going to make their lives any better. In fact, many peoples' lives are ruined by their student loans. I actually believe that student loan caps should be based on expected salary of intended major.

Parents: don't try to force your kids into certain fields. I know someone from college whose parents "forced" him to suffer through electrical engineering degree. This guy hates electrical engineering and will probably never get a good job in the field.

I have a friend that got and MBA thinking it was a license to print money. He absolutely despises "the business world" and is now about to go back for a law degree. I think he is going to hate that as well, but there's nothing I can do about it.

Most people I know that have "worthless" degrees constantly get walked all over at work, have a car that barely runs, and have no hope in sight of moving out of their parents house because all their extra income goes to student loan interest.

Guys, please try and make some smart decisions about college. College makes up such a short time in your life and makes such a huge impact on the quality of the rest of your life. If you want to just "roll the dice and hope for the best", save your money and go to vegas. It's way more fun than college.
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Replies to: I think a lot people misunderstand "do what makes you happy"

  • STheartSTheart 2 replies0 discussionsRegistered User
    Great post, thanks Jerski.
    edited May 2013
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  • lammb66lammb66 6 replies0 discussionsRegistered User
    I am a social worker and don't make much but love what I do. Reality and bills stink but I feel I am doing something to make a difference. I am lucky my spouse makes a good income but really doesn't like his job and is totally stressed out all the time. Our DD is a performing arts major and I can't imagine her doing anything else so she is pursuing what she loves and knows that road ahead will be tough. However, my husband who is not totally happy is supporting her 110%.
    edited May 2013
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