It seems that the college experience has become a glorified career factory. University life is no longer a four-year stretch of finding oneself and building lifelong friendships on a sunny campus; rather, it is a period of intense training for the uber-bland workforce.
Depressing, I know.
I've actually pondered this a lot over the past three years.
For four straight years, we learn how the "real world" works. We learn how to sit still and raise our hands before we dare to speak. We learn how to take ridiculous instructions from stuck-up professors with PhDs. We learn how to properly shake someone's hand and speak in front of others without mumbling or saying too many "ums" or "ahs."
We learn how to professionally network and used our pointless but "important" LinkedIn accounts to somehow get jobs. We learn how to dress in a way that impresses others but is unflattering to our bodies and personalities.
Most importantly, we are instructed to work our entire lives to earn a salary fit for a king. We learn that we are nothing but mortal peasants until we climb the corporate ladder and earn at least 90K a year, plus benefits.
Again, it's a rather depressing climate for budding 20-somethings to survive in. But that's just the point, isn't it? College is not about nurturing young people, nor is it about celebrating the beauty of individuality or the possibilities of life.
If there's one thing I've learned in college, it's that people value all the wrong things in life: their jobs, earning high salaries, making endless amounts of money, achieving professional status, and receiving personal recognition. And sadly, these values drive our society.
But while everyone around me is running around like a headless chicken in pursuit of high-paying internships and corner offices at their first job, I am simply trying to find myself and be happy.
That being said, I have made myself a promise that deviates from the norm:
I will not pursue money during my lifetime.
Wait—you don't really mean that, do you?
Yes, I do mean that. Instead of chasing fancy titles or a big salary, I will prioritize my interests and close relationships and seek only the jobs that fulfill my passions. If you don't believe me, perhaps my chosen major (hint: it's not a very prestigious field) will help you realize just how little I care about money.
I mean, it takes a lot of money to even survive in today's world.
I will learn how to be content with the wages that I earn, even if they are low compared to others' standards. Furthermore, I plan to live simply and avoid big purchases (like frequent vehicle upgrades or a huge mortgage, for example) that often serve as status symbols.
Don't you want to make a name for yourself?
I fully believe that God created me to serve Him and enjoy the beautiful world that He created for us. I hope to use my God-given talents, passions, and experiences to serve the world in a unique way that glorifies my Savior.
Personally, I am not concerned with making a name for myself or becoming famous—nor am I focused on achieving status within the workforce.
I could care less about wages or someday having a shiny corner office.
I simply want to live my life to the fullest, and I won't apologize for that.