The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

Lost Dreams: How the Pursuit of College is Hindering the Find for True Passion

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Fiona Fong
Many students often leave their passions to go after a lucrative field they dislike.

The pressure of choosing what career path a student wants to go down typically begins at the young age of 14–when that student begins high school—yet the majority of these students have no definite idea of what they desire to pursue. Currently, they have the drive to get into a good college, but with the decreasing acceptance rates for good colleges, along with the pressure of choosing a job field at an early age, many students ultimately sacrifice truly exploring what they want to pursue and opt for the stable option instead. To be sure, success in life is important, but why is it that many students give up searching for their true passion in favor of the stable road—and, more importantly, how does this choice impact their future? 

In a study of 1,000 students, a mere 40% of undergraduates said they were genuinely majoring in their passion (Bryant par. 1). This is due to a variety of reasons, one of which is that they were never fully able to explore different fields and, as a result, didn’t know what exactly to go into. It is no secret that schools emphasize the importance of getting good grades, but when this pressure to achieve academic excellence exceeds the students’ desire for passion, it creates an imbalance between what a student wants to do and what they feel they should do. 

The effects of this culture of excellence are significant, manifesting in a student’s decision to take an abundance of AP classes, most of which they aren’t even interested in, to get into a good college. To add on, they take a whole variety of extracurriculars they think will improve their chances of getting into college, which further decreases the time they have to find out what they legitimately want to pursue. Fundamentally, however, the problem doesn’t lie within a student’s ambition to get into a good college, but rather in the system itself. The system currently puts stress on students to figure out what they want to do early on in their lives, which not only pushes them to excessive amounts of tension at a young age, but also forces them to pick a job field even if they are not interested in it. 

Importantly, the effects of choosing a practical pursuit at the expense of passion follow students into their careers. Indeed, in the cases of students who know what they want to do but instead choose a conventional major over an unconventional major, students often grow discontent with the job field they went into. But in our current world where the funnel of money is glorified, it could make sense that most students are susceptible to outside influences and choose not to go into a creative major. In a global study of one billion people, an astounding 85% of adults reported that they were unhappy at their jobs. This leaves a sole 15% that feel like they are satisfied with their jobs (Adeline par. 2). Ultimately, this dissatisfaction can be traced back to the schools’ inability to promote students’ passion. Choosing a major is a huge decision, however, schools fail to educate students on the different types of fields they can go into. The need for respectability takes a toll on young kids as they feel that instead of doing something that they like, they should go after a lucrative career. The fear of failure and uncertainty of success deters students from taking a major that they want to pursue and instead makes them consider how they can get prestige from the job they choose. 

If this trend continues, our society will morph into one of bland uniformity, with each person the same as the last. Creative ideas won’t be considered as spectacular as they are as most people will continue to disregard them in the pursuit of luxury. To solve this problem is to cut the problem at the root—school. If schools and colleges were to put less emphasis on a student figuring out their passion at a young age, students wouldn’t feel obligated to choose a major that they didn’t like due to societal pressure. Alongside this potential solution, it becomes imperative that students genuinely realize how choosing a line of work can dictate the course of their lives—a reflection that may prompt students to pursue passion rather than prestige. However, this can’t be a one-sided effort: schools should work to help students figure out what their interests are and foster the passions of the many generations of learners to come. 

 

About the Contributors
Samaira Gaind, Opinion Editor
Fiona Fong, Artist
Fiona is a sophomore in the Dublin Shield, finding interest in the fields of illustration and psychology. She has always enjoyed literature, writing as a hobby. Recommended food is almond tofu.