Can we really follow our dreams?

There is this common misconception that a highly remunerative job and a huge house decorated in accordance with the latest interior design trends guarantee long term happiness and satisfaction.

You might know by now what I am going to say. Contrary to popular belief, the reality does not meet this overly promoted criteria. Leaving out of the discussion factors such as family, memorable lifetime experiences and friends, which are definitely great sources of bliss, pure joy also resides in practicing a job that derives from one’s passion and not because that domain is well paid. Obviously, money is an important aspect, but according to recent research, a person who works in a positive and peaceful environment with a steady sufficient salary is thought to be happier than someone who performs in a stressful enterprise, but gets highly paid.

However, writing and drawing this conclusion is easy, but were we in the situation to choose between the two options illustrated above, wouldn’t we all find the more remunerative option more attractive? Living in a society that finds itself in a constant race for wealth, it is very rare to prefer passion over money. Furthermore, due to our poor educational systems, we have not understood how tremendously content can one be just by doing exactly what they are the most ardent about. Hence the question that triggered the purpose of my article: can we really follow our dreams?

The advent of technology made possible for information to be shared in every corner of the world. One of the principal advantages of this process is that people became more open minded and found the courage to discover their own identities. Even so, it is with high dissatisfaction to notice that out of all the domains, schools remained close minded and refused evolution. Students aren’t encouraged to pursue whatever their desires might be, but instead they are persistently guided towards classic recipes for success such as a medical or a law career, because “it pays well and the job brings you notoriety”. What’s more, having the wrong mindset that a teacher’s advice is with no exception correct and should always be followed, parents usually support this phenomenon that happens in schools.

It sounds very dramatic what I have just stated, but if we were to search into our memories, each and every one of us has had that conversation with an adult who tried to convince us of how great it would be if we chose another career path.

One of my very close friends is a great artist, receiving awards for her talent ever since she was a little kid. However, rarely has she seen any support from the schools she has been to because her prowess did not fit the profile of a student interested in math and science.

Overall, it becomes more than obvious that the fault belongs to the teachers we have. Let’s be honest for a moment and answer this question: in ten years, how many professors will we keep in memory for their great qualities? Two, maybe three if I am being indulgent.

“The most effective teachers set no limits on students and believe everyone can be successful.”

As romantic as this quote may sound, its underlying message creates the essence of my article. Notwithstanding that some changes have been observed over the years, in comparison to how developed our systems should be, there is still great room for improvement.

When I participated in a public speaking course two or three years ago, one of the aspects our teachers repeatedly badgered us with was to always have a call-to-action in our speeches, articles or essays. Accordingly, after listing a ginormous set of wrong customs that are far from disappearing in our country, the conclusion to be drawn is that as hard as it might be to achieve the pinnacle of success in the domain you appreciate the most, at the end of the day that will represent the source of your long-term content.

As teenagers, our biggest privilege is that we can experience and fail without any severe repercussion. If a disinterested teacher will ignore your abilities, there will always be another who will find your skills admirable. The catchphrase “Never give up!” has not been romanticized for decades without good reason. Discovering our strongest interests and learning that life does not reside in a mundane daily job where an irate boss provokes an argument from the most insignificant thing, might turn our generation into a realistically evolved one and that will be the moment when we can declare that we were the change our society needed.

articol scris de Eva Grosu

fotograf Sophia Lopotaru