Choose Passion Over Salary, Every Single Time

Choose Passion Over Salary, Every Single Time

At the end of the day, you have the most to gain and the most to lose from this decision.
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Warning: This may contain some spoilers from the movie Dead Poet’s Society. If you care that much (even though the movie is nearly 30 years old), read no further.

My first time watching Dead Poet’s society, I remember crying. Crying hard. Ever since I first heard of it, I’ve always wanted to watch it. But I’m glad I didn’t until my first semester in college. If I had watched it any earlier or any later, It would have meant absolutely nothing to me. Coming into college, I was a nursing major knowing full well that it was not what I wanted to do.

But alas, the sway of my Carribean parents who just wanted me to have a stable and guaranteed future and their money that would help pay for my education was very strong.

So, I entered college in the nursing program and trudged my way through every torturous class (very convinced that chemistry is actually where lost souls go to die).

English and writing were always my passions and when I dreamed of the future, they are what I saw myself in. So even enduring one semester of the classes I was in crushed me thoroughly.

Not only was I suffering academically, but internally also. I had no motivation for anything. I found it nearly impossible to even want to get out of bed and sometimes, to wake up at all.

Halfway through my first semester I, like Neil in the movie, decided I’d rather die than not pursue my passion (though a little less literally). After months of phone fighting back and forth with my parents, they finally gave up. I saw where they were coming from in wanting me to have a stable future, but I just couldn’t bring myself to agree with them.

Our obsession with material things as a society is overwhelming. We let objects (specifically, money) rule us and still convince ourselves into thinking that we are the ones in control. Though it would be very nice to have a six-figure income, I truly believe that no salary is worth more than your well-being and your happiness.

If I had to advise anyone on what to do, I would choose passion. Every. Single. Time.

As a college student, you are faced very harshly with the reality of what's to come. In high school, everything seems so far away. As soon as you get to college, It’s like time starts going a little faster. One of the most formative times in your life in which you get to explore yourself and how you interact with those around you feels like it only lasts for a couple of seconds.

In those few seconds, you come to realize that some things are non-negotiable.

Maybe it’s the Virgo bursting out of me, but I can’t imagine you are truly living life if you are not living it with passion. I don’t know exactly what I want to do with this degree I’m pursuing and that’s OK.

Not knowing was the main reason I let myself be pressured into choosing the way I did in the beginning. I was so afraid of the uncertainty that I figured going into college with a set path (albeit a wrong one) was better than no path or an uncertain one. But, I found my certainty in taking a chance on the uncertain and fighting for it.

Now I am where I’m supposed to be at this specific moment in my life. I may not have a roadmap but I have goals and passion. Those are, I believe, are crucial to being successful in whatever you do.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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