Growing up I knew what I've wanted to be since I was in sixth grade.
I've always had a huge love for animals, particularly wolves. When I learned the history of the decline and recovery of the wolf population in the United States it inspired me; I decided that I wanted to help save the world- literally. I decided that I wanted to be a wildlife biologist and help replicate the recovery story of the wolves in the United States and make it so other animals around the globe can have a similar tale of success.
I've never once wavered from that being my dream once I recognized it. However, countless numbers of individuals have tried to change my mind about it. This became a frequent occurrence when I got into my junior and senior years of high school. I was among the top of my class, and, from my experience, most people who hold those spots want to be doctors, engineers, businessmen, and other things along those lines. For me though, those were the absolute last things that I would ever want to do.
So, whenever an adult or a peer would ask what I wanted to go to college for, and I responded with "Some kind of animal science", you could imagine their confusion. They'd always follow up and ask me what I planned to do with that degree, and without fail they always had a face full of dismay when I said I wanted to become a wildlife biologist and work in conservation.
Without fail every person would protest what I had to say.
"You're not going to make any money."
"You're going to spend your life poor."
"You're going to be living paycheck to paycheck."
Or my favorite, "Really? You're so smart and could make better money doing something else."
They are all absolutely, 100% correct. Working as a wildlife biologist there is a good chance I will make just enough for myself to live comfortably, and not be left with anything to spend on luxuries. Given my intellect, I probably could change my major to something that will allow me to get a higher paying job. I don't know how else to say it, but simply put, I don't want to and I will never want to. Nature is what drives me and my ambitions. I have grown up knowing that one day I want to make a change in the world, and becoming a wildlife biologist and aiding in conservation efforts is the perfect way for me to do it. It's extremely insulting when people question my choice and try to influence me to back away from it. Money isn't everything, and to me the satisfaction of knowing I will be making a difference, and I'll be protecting the world for future generations, is worth more than making a higher pay.
So as a note to anyone in the future who wants to point it out, yes, I know that I am not going to make a lot of money as a wildlife biologist, and no, I do not need you to point it out to me and tell me all the things I could do instead. This is my passion, now leave me to it.