Money vs Passion: Which One Will You Choose?

As children, we are told we can be anything we want. A doctor, astronaut, artist, ballerina, and so much more. As we grow older however, the idea of tradeoffs become prevalent. How can I be both happy and earn money? Especially as one pursues their college journey, you are forced to think about what major to pursue; which would eventually translate into a job of your interest, or go into further depth through graduate school.

These decisions are never easy, and once a decision might be made, there are a plethora of other factors to consider: resumes, internships, interviews, and LinkedIn. It can often seem intimidating and unattainable, but there are plenty of resources out there to help you. Before you decide on a major, job, or whether to go to graduate school, consider the following factors.

1. What makes you happy?

As simple as this may seem, have you ever taken the time to think about what makes you truly happy? And by happy, I mean a task you would do without being asked. This could be hiking or playing video games or even taking a shower. Of course, not everything that makes you happy will be incorporated into your future career, but could you pursue a job that could possible incorporates your effortless interests? If not, would your future job allow you time to pursue your interests? Would you have time to roast your favorite coffee or play with your dogs? These are questions that you maybe can answer now, and maybe you can’t. Regardless, it is something to think about.

2. Will you make money?

Money. The one motivation that seems to drive most people - besides being happy, of course. The divide between staying happy with your work and earning the pay you want can be a vast one. In fact, it’s often the cause of depression and other mental illnesses according to a 2008 study conducted by the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Those who are able to work a job in which they are both passionate and happy with what they are doing as well as earning a salary they are content with are deemed to have the “good life.” So, will you have the good life? And if you have to work a job that gives you the income you want but you’re not happy doing, how long will be able to do it?

There are so many different nuances that can contribute to achieving this balance. Family life, traveling, medical ailments, and so many other factors need to be considered. It is definitely not an easy balance to strike and needs to be given thought.

For us college students, the jobs we obtain as graduates are often not ones we stick to for the rest of our lives. Therefore, we have the time to experiment and see where the best version of ourselves are.

Clearly, it takes a lot to determine what will be the best for you in the end. Whether you prioritize making yourself happy, making money, or are able to find a solid medium (go you!), there is no wrong or right option. Different circumstances call for different decisions, and never let anyone put you down or make you feel bad for choosing one over the other. As college students, we still have the time to find our passions and are a little bit away from the “adulting” world. So take your time, find out what works for you, and go for it!