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Monday, December 6, 2021

Opinion

Students struggle to decide on choosing majors out of love or for money


By Bryan Washington

David Delgado// The Daily Cougar

When it comes to advice, it doesn’t matter if you ask President Barack Obama, bestselling author George Sanders or talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. They will all tell you to do what you love and go for the gold. In regards to your educational career, the piece of paper waiting for you at the end of all those tuition fees, parking tickets and credit hours is not the only point, although it certainly helps.

Most people aren’t going for the gold. You can’t control that, but you shouldn’t keep to that trend, either. A college education is a privilege that the weary world, softened from time and experience, has gone out of its way to expedite for the generations that follow. Take full advantage.

Starting off, college might not make much sense, monetarily. However, there’s a steady curve in the income-to-education slope. Scientists earn the most bills, followed closely by engineers and diplomats, leaving them curtailed by the loftier, but less accessible, entertainers.

It leaves undergraduates with no choice but to sift through the fodder, making decisions that might not literally be in their best interests but leave them with the highest chances of attaining at least some semblance of stability. As a result, the artists end up as accountants, history teachers as bank attendants and ballerinas as office temps.

So you should think about canceling your LSAT and book a flight to dance in Paris. Or not. It wouldn’t just be naïve to intuit that people make greater concessions every day: It would be stupid.

In all honesty, debating between two or three fields of study is a luxury. When your living situation is agreeable enough to have several options for how to spend your time, there is only so much to gripe about. You could instead be filtering contaminated water in Somalia, watching your step in Mexico or being forced into mandatory service in Tel Aviv.

Having the luxury of options belies a responsibility in itself. Having the ability to choose means you should make a choice. When you’re later imparting wisdom onto others, you’ll find yourself repeating the familiar and unwaveringly acknowledging the importance of pursuing what you love. 


By Euan Leith

Chinese philosopher Confucius once advised others to choose a job you love so you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Well, I’m sorry to tell you this, Confucius, but most of the seven billion people on earth do not live in 500 B.C. China.

Many of us are dealing with, or will eventually have to deal with, providing for our families. Most of us have to think about where we want our children to grow up and gain their educations. And all of us have to worry about buying a fuel-efficient car to get us to and from work every day without breaking the bank on gas.

Some of us are still living by a 2,500-year-old saying and applying it to our 21st century lifestyle.

You may have a better time working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday if you’re actually passionate about what you do than someone who goes to work only for the money and counts down the minutes until quitting time. For the people who love their jobs, they’re not going home and continuing their job because they love it so much. J.J. Watt doesn’t go home and leg press 600 pounds after sacking quarterbacks for three hours every Sunday because he loves football so much. 

People can’t relax and switch off their brain if what they love is also what they do as their job. This might lead to the loss of some of the passion that drove them to that career in the first place.

Having financial stability gives a person one less thing to worry about while stuck in that dreadful Houston traffic. They can go home and recharge their batteries to be ready for the next day of work. If you are constantly worrying whether your credit card is going to get declined, you cannot focus properly on your work, and it may in turn cause unhappiness in the job you once loved.

Opinion columnist Bryan Washington is an English junior and may be reached. Opinion columnist Euan Leith is a journalism junior. They may be reached at [email protected]

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