If the day you graduated someone offered you a starting annual salary of $1 million, would you take it? What if agreeing to this career meant you would never actually enjoy your job?
Sadly, many college students pursue degrees regardless of their passions. Rather by parental, societal, or self-made pressure, they feel that striving for anything less than the most lucrative major would be a waste of time and tuition money. But, is money really the deciding factor of someone’s future?
Obviously, making a living is important. You need to provide yourself with the necessities and more in order to live comfortably and securely. However, sacrificing your dreamy desires altogether does not lead to success, neither personal nor financial. It is entirely possible to combine a realistic view with one’s passion in order to create a fulfilling yet practical career goal.
I would like nothing more than to be an author of fiction novels. I want to be paid to build stories that challenge and inspire readers, and use that payment to further my work to give each story more impact than the last. Despite the strong passion behind this goal, it is not reasonable to believe that I could drop out of college and immediately produce and publish a best-seller. Maybe after months or years of financial and emotional struggle I would be fortunate enough to accomplish this, but life is not a heartwarming indie movie where adventurous college dropouts in slouchy clothes and knitted hats stumble upon success and fortune simply because they have the heart and drive.
As much as I want that to happen for me and anyone else, it isn’t realistic. However, that doesn’t mean you should ditch your fantasy for a desk littered with circular coffee stains and the tears of a midlife crisis. In my situation, I chose to pursue something that would both fuel my passion and my well-being. With the right planning, you can create an academic path that will allow you to do what you love (or at least incorporate it) while supporting yourself. In time, once you have built a foundation, you will have more experience and resources to move your career closer to your dreams.
As far as money goes, you will have to make a personal decision concerning how you would like to arrange financial and personal priorities. If you strictly want to work to live, a larger salary is probably more important to you. However, if you have the opportunity to do what you love, you most likely won’t feel the need to be as heavily compensated for it.