Opinion

Study what brings you happiness

One of the most common questions on the playground when I was  a child was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The answers ranged from ballerina to policeman, astronaut to actor. We all saw ourselves being anything we wanted to be, and success was our only perceived outcome.

It’s true that not a lot of kids playing in sandboxes know how to say “phlebotomist,” let alone desire to be one, but as we get older and are exposed to new things, we lose our old aspirations in exchange for more practical ones.

Beyond practicality, we often decide to pursue careers based on the paths that will please those who love us. But when you’re a people pleaser, it’s easy to forget about yourself.

At some point, someone tapped us on the shoulder with reality, teaching us to think about income, opportunity and stability. At some point, someone must have gently pointed out to me that ballerinas should be a little bit taller – and good dancers.

While there are many people who, because of true passion for these professions, choose to plunge their hands into biology even though it’s bloody, or sink their teeth into finance even when it’s fatiguing, there are also a lot of people out there who are pursuing jobs that don’t necessarily please them. They made seemingly necessary “adult” decisions, guided by authority, and often funded by authority’s bank account.

I met a pre-med student the other day who, when prompted with what type of doctor he wanted to be, replied “I don’t know – I’m just going to med school because I have to and I guess I’ll figure it out when I get there.” I was reminded of a friend who always wanted to be a teacher but wasn’t allowed to pursue anything outside the medical field.

We don’t pursue prescribed goals for the sake of attaining happiness; we pursue them for the sake of avoiding disapproval. It becomes a case of internal satisfaction versus projected satisfaction, and the former is lacking. We renounce what we really want because we become anxious about failing to uphold the expectations of those who believe in us.

If you’re unhappy with your major, don’t let the weight of your conscience sink to your feet and prevent you from making the trip to your academic adviser’s office. The proudest we can make our parents is to show them we’re thriving. And we can only thrive when we’re happy.

 

Hunter Wright is a sophomore majoring in creative writing.

 
March 17, 2014

Reporters

Hunter Wright


3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Study what brings you happiness”

  1. Roberta Stillwell says:

    Beautifully written. Warms my heart.

  2. Counselor Cha says:

    Hunter, you continue to amaze me with your writing. I always knew you were destined for greatness!

  3. Coach Jacquez says:

    Hunter, your writing has always made me smile! Keep up the great work!
    Coach

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

The question came straight at Ahmmon Richards, like a tight spiral. And this time, he didn’t hesitat ...

1. DOLPHINS: Miami seeks revenge vs. hated, Stinkin' Jets: Dolphins host Jets Sunday with Miami ...

Notes and observations on UM’s 27-19 win against Syracuse: • A UM source said Mark Richt seemed more ...

View photos from the Syracuse at Miami game Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami G ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes grabbed four interceptions and another ACC victory as they defeated Syracuse, 27-19, ...

The Miami women's tennis team wrapped up play Sunday the ITA Southeast Regional Championships P ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Kolby Bird had a career-high 21 kills, but the Hurricanes dropped a five-set battle to Notre Dame on ...

The Miami soccer team recognized its four seniors Sunday afternoon and then dropped a hard-fought 2- ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.