For Money or Passion?

For Money or Passion?

Do we follow the status quo or do we venture off and follow our hearts...

For the last two years, I've been getting criticized for choosing to major in Mass Communications. "There's no money in that!" "That major is so easy, I'm sure." "You're going to be poor and struggling." Pause, with the way the world is going today, we're all going to be poor and struggling with our current economy. But I digress. Money or passion? That's the question.

In the mind of a high school senior, "should I be an engineer or a cosmetologist?" A teacher or an artist? A computer scientist or a dancer? Engineers, teachers, and computer scientists are presumed to make the most money in our country today. But in our generation, our burning passions are in dancing, creating art, doing hair, writing and reporting, etc. The things that are presumed a "waste of money." A waste of a major, an easy major, and the opposite of money makers.

My major is Mass Communications with a minor in Spanish. Mass Communications involves writing, reporting, publishing, editing, public relations, marketing, advertising, the list goes on. However, I'm still looked down on for choosing passion over money. Little do they know, depending on the job I end up having, I'll get to experience both passion and money.

In the eyes of parents paying for their child's collegiate career, they feel that choosing passion over money is not the future they want for their child. But honestly, most of us are trying to live the best of both worlds but primarily choosing passion. A lot of us don't want to be in a job a few years down the road loathing waking up in the mornings, staring at the clock all day waiting for lunch time and longing for quitting time. We want to work with people we have things in common with, people we can talk to and hang out with outside of work. We may not have our futures paved out to a T but we know what we want to have.

I chose passion because I've been writing forever, I love spilling my thoughts out on paper and letting my fingers do the talking for me. I love surrounding myself with people who are like-minded but are also unique in their writing. I love learning from other writers in ways that'll help me to become a better writer. It's passion I chose and I have no regrets.

Some may do it for the money, others do it for the passion.

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I May Be Underpaid And Under-Appreciated, But My Dream Is To Teach

I learned to tune out the doubters and love the kids.

When I was younger, it was automatically assumed that I would become a doctor. It was where my mother’s passions had always lain and unable to complete her degree, she shared her dreams with me. Oh, I was a proud first-grader carefully penning “I want to be a doctor to help people” and coloring in a scribbled drawing of a somber girl with an overlarge stethoscope swinging from her neck; it was as if I had determined that the only helpful profession was in medicine.

Other kids could be the tooth fairy or Superman but my cape would be the esteemed white doctor’s coat.

My relatives in Pakistan were all supremely pleased, of course. The medical field was the only noble profession, as far as they were concerned, and I had proven myself clever enough that they had high hopes for me. And then, in fourth grade, I switched gears entirely.

Ever since first grade, I’d had some of the best teachers at my school and their constant guidance and encouragement was just what shy, timid me needed to grow, both personally and academically.

When I changed schools in fourth grade, I was prepared to be overwhelmed but my teacher took especial pains to familiarize herself with me and my family so that the year went by more smoothly than I could ever have dreamed possible.

I wanted to be like her. I wanted to help students in ways they might not even understand and touch their lives the way my teachers touched mine. And then, as I helped teachers grade papers, and sat inside at recess to cut out apples for the bulletin board and paper turkeys for our art projects, I would think, “This is something I want to do with my life”.

My parents supposed I was jesting, and laughingly encouraged my schoolgirl fancies, always convinced I would go on to become a doctor.

In high school, I determined that I had no passion for biology, at least not to the extent that would allow me to devote the years required to get into the medical field.

Teaching, however, seemed a much more realistic and pleasant ambition and I began to firmly research what a future career in teaching would entail.

My parents were disappointed but they had always vowed to allow us children to pursue our dreams; my father, especially, was adamant that we follow our passions when deciding upon our careers.

My relatives in Pakistan were more shocked and expressed their shock with their usual blunt forthrightness. “You’re such a smart girl and you’re going to teach”! “You don’t need a degree to be a teacher. That’s the last resort for people without jobs”.

Let me be real with you all. About 90% of the reason I became a teacher was for purely altruistic motives: inspiring future minds, sparking the creativity of youth and following in the footsteps of the teachers that had been my own role models.

The other 10% — and I won’t lie — is to rub it in the faces of every person who has had something narrow-minded to say about teaching, as a profession. I hope, for my sake, for my students’ sake that I become a great enough teacher to be able to do that.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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The Final Semester Of Senior Year

Seems like it's been forever in the making

Over winter break, I went home and was able to reconnect with other friends who had gone off to college, as well as those still in high school. One of my closest friends is still a senior in high school, so, of course, we talked about what it's like to be in your final semester after being in the same place for so long. I was never all that popular, so it's not like I would consider high school to be my glory days by any stretch of the imagination, but there is a sense of comfort in the familiarity. College has been great, but there will always be a place in my heart reserved for the seven years I spent at my middle/high school. I'm a huge fan of poetry, so, towards the end of my senior year, I sat down and wrote a poem that went a little something like this:


It’s gone so slow, and yet so fast

It’s hard to believe seven years have passed

We’ve had good times and bad, where we’ve laughed and sighed

There’s been times when we all just gathered and cried

Through stressful times , we’ve not just survived

But, with the help of each other, we’ve all flourished and thrived

Through quizzes and homework and plenty of tests

We’ve made it through by doing our best

We will hold our memories as we spread through the nation

And thank God that he gave us this solid foundation

Pep rallies, football games, and all school mass

We’ve fought our way through every 45 minute class

We’re all going on our separate ways

Knowing that we will all return one day

It’s been a good run

And we’ve had some fun

But we’re a family now

And the time has finally come for us to take a bow


I couldn't find online copy, so this is mostly from memory, but the feelings hold true. Sure, right now it seems like you want nothing more than to escape, but there will be moments in college when you will realize all that you took for granted. College is awesome, but don't let this last semester fall by the way side. Live it to the fullest.

Cover Image Credit: Annika Soderfelt

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