A rant, basically.
You know how your whole life, people are asking you what you want to be when you grow up? As a kid, you give them excited and slightly ridiculous or ambitious answers. You’re so sure that you’ll become this because you have no idea how one actually becomes that, it just “happens.” As a teenager, you’re less sure about it. Most teenagers have no idea and don’t really care enough to put thought into it. Adults look annoyed at blank or half-thought responses. Until senior year rolls around and you’re being slapped with college applications and a sudden urge to declare your major.
At that point, some people (very few) are either saying “it’s okay, you have time to decide. there’s nothing wrong with being undeclared!” While others are trying to push you into picking something that will “make you money” and “make you successful.” Usually, those people are family members. So I made a decision (after much thought, much consideration) that I want to major in Elementary Education. Currently, I’m a freshman in college and a Elementary Ed Pending major. I plan to get my degree AND my teaching certificate. I plan to graduate with some internship experience under my belt and get my TEFL certificate so that I can apply to jobs abroad and teach English in foreign countries for a few years. So basically, I actually have my shit figured out.
But then I get approached by a family member today at dinner with the question, “so have you picked a major/what you want to study?” This is a question I have gotten from all my Cuban family members (and even people I just met). They’ve been asking me this since I was 14. My answer has changed several times, of course. But now that I’m in college, I have a pretty solid answer. Now the family member who asked me this today lives with me. He knows full well what my major is because I told him several times. I think he just wishes I’d change it, so he keeps asking. I roll my eyes, knowing what’s about to come. A long lecture about how teaching doesn’t make good money and how I should study to be a doctor or a lawyer cause it’s worth the struggle or what not.
Listen. I know full well what the potential salary of lawyer’s and doctor’s is. I know full well what the work load consists of and how much school goes into it. How much time and dedication goes into finally getting to be a successful lawyer or doctor. It’s not for me. Those jobs are not for just anyone. If it were, there would be a hell of a lot more law firms and private practices. I don’t think some people understand that. It’s not just about money. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life doing something I don’t enjoy, not even a bit. Would I like to make lots of money? Heck yeah. Most people do. But I’m not willing to sacrifice my happiness for it. Some people love being doctor’s. Some people love being lawyer’s. Some people think it is worth all the time and dedication if it makes more money. Honestly, good on them. That takes a lot. I know that I’m not gonna make a quarter of a million dollars annually by being a teacher. I do know that I’m gonna get to travel to different countries, experience different cultures, and make a living while doing it. I know I’m going to love it. I know I’m going to live a fulfilling life if I get to travel, even if I’m not living in luxury.
Heck yeah I dream of being rich. Heck yeah I dream of buying my dream car, affording to buy all kinds of random overpriced things at Disney, of living in a gorgeous house, of being able to afford things I could never save enough for in my whole life with what I earn now. I look at haute couture dresses by Vera Wang and Paolo Sebastian and I cry into my wallet (metaphorically speaking). I would love to buy my mom a nice house and spoil her with all the things she deserves for being such an amazing person. Those things would make me happy, but I could be just as happy without it. So why are people worried about my life and the money I’m going to make? Why are people worried about your success and your future? How would it benefit anyone but you? Honestly, if any of you know what sense this makes, please explain to me. So far, I’m not getting it. If I’m majoring in something it’s because I want to do it. My mother 100% supports me and her opinion is the one that matters to me.
If I thought I was capable of doing everything it takes to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, ect., I’d totally give it a shot. I just know I’d be miserable because it’s not what I’m interested in whatsoever. A personal thing, that’s all. He can tell me ALL he wants about the benefits of the job, it won’t change my mind. I’ve already made up my mind. He doesn’t want to hear about how happy I’m gonna be doing what I love. He just hears how much (or not much) money I’ll be making.
That’s all for now, folks. Sorry for ranting at ya! Thanks for reading!