Money vs. Passion

By Sydney Sketoe, Staff Writer

“The choices you make today will determine the rest of your life,” “This is the first step towards your future.” These are phrases that echo over juniors and seniors as they look towards the future after years and years of schooling. They are told they need to go to college. But maybe not. Maybe you want to completely avoid college and try to become an entrepreneur or try to pursue a passion in music or theater.  What if those fail? Back to the grinder right? Maybe or maybe not. I’ve seen this to be a consistent strife with many people who go into college and try out their plan A, to either come out totally different or completely drop out of college. This happens because the schooling isn’t the passion for these people and more or less something they’re forced to do because they were told they can’t do what they want to do. Yet, modern adults from the late 1950’s-1970’s think that going to college is the only way.

Since I was young I have had a very vivid and far out imagination and as I have aged I have discovered that I really liked writing and art. Writing is a good way to at least organize ideas from my brain to paper (now word document);  to let things build and grow upon each other to become stories. Being bashful as I am I never wanted to tell my parents, or anyone else, but eventually my nosy older brother found out and told my parents. I was surprised at their reaction. They were proud and told me that they were impressed with the fact that I liked to write stories, but then the very next thing that came out of their mouths was:

“So are you going to make money off of this?”

I was baffled. Mostly because it went from them being proud to money. Later on I told them I wanted to pursue a journalistic career and take journalism or writing classes in college. They basically told me it was an empty degree because it’s liberal arts. I’m not a mathematician, I’m alright in economics,  and no way am I a linguistic, but I am good with trying to formulate what I hope I do — write stories. So why not make a career out of it? Well their comment to this was that I should get a job that will make me real money, such as engineering, or that my hobby will eventually become much hated work.

I do always have an alternative because if I’m not going to write stories for a living, then I’m going to 3D print human body parts, because why not. Pays right? Mom agreed. She tells me she wants me to have as much as I grew up with because one of her sisters never thought she could have less than what she grew up with. It was wise advice but if I don’t try then how will I know if it works out or not? Truth is, many popular books on the shelves and on the big screen today took years to really gain that popularity. So how would my stuff be any different? Even then, what if I don’t want it to be a novelist but something like a creator of comic books because of my love of art. Even though I’m really nervous about what I write, I have friends who want to go into animation in college in California and if they like what I write/wrote, they’re willing to animate my stories. How cool is that? Wait. That’s right. Money.

There was something my dad once told me that really made my eyes open up a bit more. He told me once that if he didn’t make the choices he had made in the past and didn’t become a project controls manager in a gas company, he could’ve been a singer. My dad does have the talent and honestly, I was tempted to tell him he was a fool for not even trying to pursue it, even if he had failed.

This is the struggle that many people have in not just arts but in athleticism. So many people that currently go to school here want to be a pro athlete, get into the NFL, and live a life of doing something they love and not a job they hate. That’s what scares many people the most when think of that time beyond high school and into college. Who are we going to become? Are we going to actually become successful? Or are we just going to go to college and find our way into the gas industry or a cubical or a desk job because it pays.

Honestly, nothing is ever gained without falling on your face a few times. That really depends on one thing:

Want to risk for your passion, or take the path of least resistance?

Only time will tell.