What do you want to be when you grow up? This is a question we are all asked from the time we could speak, but many of us can’t even answer that as adults. Parents expect kids to come out of high school and know what they want to do for the rest of their lives when they themselves don’t even know. So why is there that unrealistic expectation put on the youth to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives? Why don’t we ask them, what do you want to try and see what you like? What are your interests that you can further develop? Why are kids not encouraged to enhance their interests and passions to become great at what they do, instead of forcing them to pick a career that will “make them money.” This leaves the impression that their talents and interests are not good enough.
Society has painted this ideal picture of what life is suppose to be like. You go to school, graduate, go to college or straight into the workforce, get married, have kids, and pay bills for the rest of your life. Society has not fostered creativity or fun, however yet that is how technology and advancements were developed. It was those willing to push past the norms and challenge the boundaries of what always has been done. If life’s greatest innovation is developed from creativity and going outside the box, why is it not being encouraged to do so more?
As a student, I see young people trying hard to figure out what to do. They rush through school as cheap as possible to get a good job with good pay. It is not necessarily what they love to do or have a passion for but rather what they think they will make the most money at. But is that what life is about? Just making the most money you can? All the successful people I know love the jobs they have. They are successful because they are happy with what they are doing. Whether it is working with numbers or fixing things with your hands or helping people or creating and developing new products, all the happy successful people I know do not do their job because it will make them the most money but rather they make money because they do what the love. The people I know that base their jobs on how much money they are making are usually living paycheck to paycheck with little motivation and passion for their job. With this logic, people should be developing skills based on their interests and do what they are passionate about.
As a parent, I have a hard time when kids are told they “can’t do that” or “don’t be silly, be practical”. Why is it silly to be passionate about what you love? If all creative people were told that they were silly and it wouldn’t amount to anything, (okay well I am sure most of them were told that), but if they actually had listened we would not have the simplest of things that we now take for granted like phones, electricity, running water, not to mention computers, video games, vehicles…So what are you doing to tell someone when they tell you they are passionate about something that is out of the norm? Are you going to discourage or encourage? The choice is yours but you never know the difference you make…But I say do what you love and strive to be innovative and creative. There is no wrong answer. Life is too short not to be happy.
Submitted by Student Ambassador, Heather Crichton.