Graduation season is in full swing, and as anxious students finish degrees and search for employment, professors and speakers are encouraging them to “follow their dreams.”
For the most part.
One nay-saying professor, however, is teaching her students about the cold, hard reality that exists in the real world.
Occidental College’s Professor Lisa Wade explains that telling grads to follow their dreams is bad advice - both impractical and harmful to students’ expectations.
“I think it is actually kind of cruel to give that advice,” Wade said on HuffPost Live. “First, because a lot of students don’t know what they want to do and so they feel this incredible pressure to figure out what their passion is just at that one moment.”
Admittedly, Wade's words do hit close to home, particularly when it comes to the uncertainties graduates are faced with.
That being said, Wade’s reasoning strikes a depressing chord as she explains that most students won’t be able to follow their dreams and that they’ll end up with mediocre jobs.
“I think it is just absurd to think that the majority of Americans are going to be able to follow their passions, to get paid to do what you love,” Wade said. “Historically speaking, that has been incredibly rare and is still incredibly rare. So I think it sets students up for failure.”
Her explanation might be true, but striving for excellence never hurts. Striving for mediocrity, however, can be a paralyzing goal, especially when the “what if” regrets set in later in life.