Since I have been writing out more of my thoughts lately, I have figured out my productivity and ability to think, depending on my location. I love Springtime. When it is cold and sunny simultaneously, I have realized I can think clearly and be productive when I am outside.
Ever since I graduated college in 2019, I have had these ongoing thoughts about education. I am not here to bash the education system, teachers, or school programs. I genuinely believe in school and education, and it can get you to where you want to go in life. I have had incredible teachers who have motivated me and guided me to success and have bad teachers. There are some things about the system from my experience and learning stories from others that I do not believe in, and I think there need to be more actions to address these issues.
I went to a four-year college, majored in marketing, and now work full-time in marketing. I do not regret going to school, I think everything happens for a reason, and my journey guided me to where I am now. Although I wish I got some different lessons for how much money I spent on my education. I want schools to do a better job of making it a priority to educate students that there is more to life than just graduating college and getting a good-paying job. I would argue that is just a bonus to your education. Instead, I wish they spent more time explaining what to look for in companies, explained work-life balance, company culture, and that it’s sometimes better for your mental health to do what you want and not chase a paycheck. I took a career locator test at the career counseling center in my third year of school. This is a test where they take your hobbies, skillsets, major, GPA (If that even matters), and interests, and it renders some suitable careers for you. After I took this test, it showed the potential salary ranges.
After seeing the salaries, I tended to want to shoot for the titles with higher wages as I felt like that was what would matter. That’s what I did. For the first two years, I was out of college, I felt like all that mattered was how much money could potentially be made. I was working full time and trying to do as much freelance photography as possible. But I found out that I could be making so much money but be working 50-60 hour weeks and find myself extremely unhappy. This is what I see most of my peers do, they are so happy that they are making a good living financially, but their mental health and happiness are failing. I wish the concept of mental health and happiness were discussed more in career longevity rather than pay. You hear it, “Amazon is a great company to work for!” Is it great because of the income or the benefits, work-life balance, etc.? Another common one I hear is people working in the creative realm or the mental health world. “Are you sure you want to do that? I hear it does not pay well.” These comments lead people down unhealthy paths in their careers, but the job that may not pay as well would keep you the happiest and the most fulfilled.
I also think school systems need to treat everyone equally and not determine your worth and work ethic solely based on your grades. Someone very close to me is a talented videographer and filmmaker. He went to a four-year college and got into film school. He has a learning disability that requires more time to take tests, turn in assignments, etc. Due to his learning disability, he did not test well, which hurt his overall grades. Despite this fact, he was able to go on and get internships with an NFL team, Fox News, and other media agencies. Unfortunately, that did not matter because he did not test well. He got kicked out of film school and needed to switch his major to general studies. The good news is he went on to graduate and now has been working full time for an NFL team for five years and has his own Youtube channel on the side. Even though this person has more skills than most people in his primary class and more experience, it all came down to what the final grade was on the paper.
I hope we get to a point where we will start paying more attention to raw, natural skill set and experience rather than a letter grade because that letter does not matter AT ALL in the real world. I hope we get to the point where we start educating students on the best way to maintain and enhance mental health while choosing a career.