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Should Success be the Goal or Happiness?

Teachers always strive for their students to do better. They want them to go out into the world and conquer it. But what happens if the student doesn’t want to rise to the top of the career ladder? What if they just want a job they love? This puts teachers in a hard place. Hopefully, the teacher wants the student to be happy. If not then they seriously picked the wrong profession. Yet, at the same time it’s their job to push students. I highly doubt parents are going to like it if the teacher goes, “Yeah your child and I agreed that we are shooting for happiness. We aren’t so much reaching for A’s. We are aiming for happy B’s, maybe even happy C’s.” You’d see that teacher waiting in the unemployment line.

Image couresty of greenlivingaz.com.

But how far should a teacher push? It’s one thing if a student doesn’t want to learn, but this is a whole new bag of worms. The student wants to be successful, they’ve just reversed the happiness formula. Today’s mindset is if “I work hard, then I’ll become successful, and then I’ll be happy.” Happiness is third on the list! Teachers can instruct students with these mindsets. You know the sad ones who put work before being happy. If you aren’t one of these people, then you probably have never seen one. They generally spend their time pounding down Red Bulls and drawing. I’m not going to name majors but if yours rhymes with “essential” or “wave equation.”

Understandably, students with happiness as their top priority are harder to teach. The teacher will keep pushing them towards working at a big company someday. Success is a great goal to have, but let’s not get sidetracked from what’s really important: paying off student loans! I’m kidding. Well…mostly. As amazing as it might be to work at a big name like Pixar, it won’t mean anything if that’s the only positive thing in your life. It’s important to strive for goals, but at the same time figure out what makes you happy. Follow your happiness and success is sure to follow. Don’t mix up one for the other. Chocolate cake makes me happy, but that doesn’t mean I can’t write and eat it at the same time. Hah! I can eat my cake and eat too, in your face Mom! Anyway, don’t bank all your happiness into being successful. Being successful has many different definitions that only one person can define: you.

Jordan Di Pirro was born in Detroit, Michigan. She lived there for most of her life until coming to Atlanta for school. At SCAD she is a television production major with a minor in writing. She may or may not have a Harry Potter obsession. Her friends are currently planning an intervention on her behalf. Please send an email if interested in attending.
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