Do you ever feel like your pragmatism is misinterpreted as pessimism by delusional idealists? Sometimes you have to stop yourself from warning a dreamer of all the things that could go wrong, and then telling them how to fix their phantom problems. You don’t wander around peeing on people’s parades to make yourself feel better. You just want them to think rationally before making life altering decisions.
A couple days ago, I was presented with the opportunity to either tell someone they’re making a huge mistake or keep my mouth shut. I decided on the latter. I kept my practicalities to myself because I’m not close enough to the individual to voice my opinion without offending her. Now, if you’re a close friend, I’ma say something if you’re being stupid. Too bad if I hurt your feelings in the process.
So, here’s the issue. Nothing gets my blood boiling faster than someone who digs themselves deep into student loan debt in pursuit of a career path they’re unsure is right for them. If you ask, they’ll probably say they’re 100% positive about what they want. Maybe they are, but I don’t know how you can be so sure of something you’ve never done before. Maybe you should try it out first.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s call the inspiration for this blog post Larissa. She’s been pursuing higher education off and on for the better part of a decade. There were times when life happened to Larissa, and she had to take time off from school. Other times, Larissa happened to Larissa.
Apparently it can take 10 years to finish a 4-year degree when you’re a) not sure what the heck you want to do and b) your education isn’t a priority. There’s nothing wrong with you if you’ve experienced either of the two. I’m just saying it can take a minute to graduate.
The day Larissa graduates with her bachelors degree is quickly approaching. However, she’s decided to get a masters because she wants a job at a particular company that requires it.
When I heard this, my natural, internal response was “Say what now?”
I couldn’t believe it. All these years she’s been pursuing a degree. I was so excited for her to use it. Now I have to wait at least another two years to see if she gets the job at this ONE company AND if she’ll actually stick with her chosen career path.
The company she wants to work for will repay her student loan debt. But what if she doesn’t get a job at that company? What if she can’t afford to repay her student loans with the money she makes from the job she ultimately takes?
Don’t get me wrong. If you have a dream, by all means, pursue it, but don’t be blissfully ignorant of issues that are likely to crop up and derail your plans.
I won’t tell Larissa this, but I think she should take some time off school to work in her field before pursuing additional education. I think she should try interning with the organization she wants to work for before going to such great lengths to seek full-time employment. There might be a similar company with similar benefits that doesn’t require a masters degree. That organization might even pay for it. Maybe there are scholarships available that she’s not taking complete advantage of. I want so badly to tell her.
Oh well. It’s none of my business.
Have you ever experienced a situation where your genuine concern was misconstrued as negativity?