The Graduate student nightmare…
Being months away from your expected graduation date full of cheer and bliss because you can’t wait to celebrate this milestone in your life just to be smacked in the face with a rude awakening of how little your upcoming salary will be thanks to you wanting to live out your passion and be fulfilled in life. You begin to think to yourself now why didn’t I listen to my parents, play it safe and just go to med school? But then you scratch that thought when you think of all the student loans you would’ve had to come face to face with post-graduation. Oh, so how about the thought of not going to college at all since this job market sucks anyway and there are too many underemployed college grads, you’re smart enough to get far with a High School diploma. Ha! Then you snap back into reality when you remind yourself that no one gives a damn about how smart you are, the only thing job employers want to see is that piece of paper stamped by an institution with a title showing that you made some sort of effort to advance your education.
The next step would probably be to then compare and contrast your resume with 1000 other college grad applicants and then play the cat and mouse game. You know, the interview game where they make you come back for one, then two more interviews when they knew from the moment they laid eyes on you, shook your hand and allowed you to give your 1 minute lecture of why you’re a great fit for the company is the very moment they knew they had no interest in you. But, when we live in a society that could care less about time consumption including wasting someone’s time, energy, money, gas and for a female like myself a cute wardrobe that could be in my closet for a more important date, well, these are the odds that are never in you favor.
Now anyway, the countdown to graduation has begun for me for as of May 21, 2014 I will officially have my Master of Social Work degree in hand and will set off to conquer the world of mental health with great attention to chemical dependency, co-morbid disorders and to adolescents. Sounds intriguing doesn’t it, just another gifted human being going about in life trying to heal lives and make a difference in the world.
Well, unfortunately with the time, energy and efforts I make to allow for such social change to happen my bank accounts probably won’t feel as gratified as my heart will. It’s a major bummer, but this is not new information to me, when I decided to enter the world of clinical therapy as a Social Worker I knew firsthand I would not be graduating and accepting salary offers starting at $60,000+. All I knew is that I wanted to make a difference in the world and actually wake up in the morning and be content about having to go to my job. I was tired of working and gaining nothing out of it, it was nothing but drudgery and toil under the sun. There were too many days that I experienced in life doing laborious work just to be scrutinized and disrespected by my boss. Allow me to quote Solomon, the father of wisdom when I tell you that..
I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me.All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
Who wants to live a meaningless life? A life consisted of chasing after the next best thing to satisfy our need to Basque in materialistic achievements. One of the greatest things you can achieve in life is the work that you do, whether you’re on the same path as me doing clinical therapy, or a personal trainer helping people maintain healthy lifestyles or even using this world as an artistic platform with your photography skills, what you do and how great you did it should be the best part of your obituary.
When money is your motivator, do not be surprised when you look back in life and see all the years that have gone by and you’re still wondering why you feel stuck, like your back at square one. When there’s not one once of passion in your heart for what you do, how do you expect to keep that fire burning? Money comes and goes, but what you do leaves a mark on the world.
So for all my fellow MSW students or those who are ready to enter the work force but your expected salary (or other circumstances) is putting a great deal of sorrow in your heart. Remember why you did it in the first place, rekindle that flame that is looking a little dim in your heart and be GREAT at what you do.
Talent is like a marksman who hits a target which others cannot reach; genius is like a marksman who hits a target which others cannot see” – Arthur Schopenhauer