Sometimes Pursuing Your "Dream Job" Actually Makes You Miserable

Sometimes Pursuing Your "Dream Job" Actually Makes You Miserable

I knew the road was going to be tough, but I didn't expect to hate it so much.

Nik Shuliahin
65

When I entered college, I had my heart set on being an animator.

I had always loved cartoons when I was a kid, and I still enjoy a lot of them today (Gravity Falls, Over The Garden Wall, Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, and Steven Universe are just a few of my all-time favorites). I could rave for hours on end about how good these shows were. I constantly doodled in the margins of my notebooks. I lived and breathed animation. I thought it was my true calling.

Emphasis on thought.

When I applied to college, I thought it was the perfect career for me. "You can do anything if you're passionate enough." My guidance counselor told me, "And you've definitely got that."

In a sea of fellow high schoolers saying, "Well, I don't really know what I wanna do yet.", I thought being passionate about a career was just the best thing that could happen to a High Schooler. I vowed to hold onto this passion and never give up, even if times got tough.

So, I declared my major from the get-go and hit the ground running. The first steps to my "dream job"! I was thrilled. I took my first art class, 2D design, in my second semester of college. I entered the class with high hopes and a limitless determination! Judging by my passion and grit, I was sure to pass this class with flying colors!

The end of the year rolled around, and I had barely scraped by with a C.

Well, maybe I didn't want it hard enough. I took three more art classes the next semester: 3D design, Graphic Design, and Drawing Fundamentals 1.

I got a C and C- , respectively. I tanked Drawing Fundamentals so badly I had to withdraw. I'll spare you that grade. I stared at my report card, having possibly the worst existential crisis of my life. I was completely and utterly miserable, and not just because of my grades.

I absolutely hated these classes I was so sure I was going to love.

I remember standing in the three and a half hour drawing class and measuring the proportions of stacked cardboard boxes with a piece of rope. I also remember wanting to claw my eyes out rather than stare at another damn box for another damn hour.

The thought of staring at boxes for three months straight filled me with a visceral dread that can only be compared to seeing your toilet clogged.

So, I laid on the floor and stared at my living room ceiling as all my hopes, dreams, and plans for my future crumbled around me. Passion meant nothing if you couldn't pass the fundamentals.

After a good ten minutes of sprawling on the carpet staring blankly above me (and greatly concerning my parents), I came to a very, very, very important conclusion. It was time to give up on my dreams.

Obviously this whole "artist thing" wasn't working out.

And you know what? That's ok. I changed my major to creative writing that break, and I am so much happier. Last year, I hated going to class. Now, I'm excited to share my latest work with my class.

Changing my major and ditching my "dream job" was the best thing I could've done for myself.

So, if you find yourself in my shoes and you're miserable in the pursuit of your "dream job," don't fret. Sometimes the "dream job" you have in your head is a little different from its real-life counterpart. If you absolutely hate it, there is nothing wrong with walking away from it.

It's good to bite the bullet and push through challenges that keep you from your goals, but when biting the bullet makes you nothing but miserable, it's ok to just spit it out.

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