The Real World vs The Taught World

Throughout our educational years, we have been taught by our instructors that we can become whomever we want to be, we can achieve any dream we wish to achieve, and we can have anything we want to have. Our educators encourage us to dream big, to never give up, and to strive for success by reaching the top of the ladder in society with hard work and dedication. We are pre-programmed to think the recipe to make our dreams a reality is a dose of perseverance, an ounce of faith, and a smidgen of determination is all that’s needed to make them come true…along with a good, quality education of course. But the one thing that is not taught is the fact that our perception of how things SHOULD be and the reality of how things WILL be are two separate entities, that if ignored, is the recipe for disappointment.

The depressing reality is: half of today’s college graduates are working in jobs that are not in their chosen field or may be overqualified for, are making less money than what they’re worth, and are sacrificing a majority of their hard-earned income into repaying student loans for an occupation they were told would put a substantial amount of money in their pockets in order to cover their post-education expenses. In a 2012 McKinsey & Company survey, along with the collaboration of Chegg, Inc., 4,900 college graduates expressed their regrets of what they envisioned reality to be like after four years of higher learning. 48% of U.S. college graduates were employed in jobs that did not require a four-year degree while 32% of graduates were actually working in their field of expertise. Out of the 72% of college graduates who were required to complete an internship in their chose field of study, only 42% reported their internships have landed them a job. This means either 30% of these college graduates were either out of work or underemployed.

As the competition stiffens within the workforce, so does the number of available jobs for college graduates decrease. Of course, this all depends on one’s major, with the visual and performing arts being the most difficult to break into while science, engineering, and technology provide the most satisfactory results for job seekers. But with today’s economy, even choosing the “right” major still does not guarantee a stable job. Higher education institutions overlook this fact when promoting idealizations of reality in exchange for a signed promissory note. What appears to be achievable through hard work, dedication, and persistence is not always what will be attainable in the end.

©2013 Learus Ohnine

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Jump-start your dreams

What are the dreams that have been placed in your heart? Actually, I am not technically asking if you have any; I already know they are there because all of us have dreams. Dreams are given to us for a reason. Dreams give us encouragement, hope, and insight. Dreams add fuel to our yearning for life. Whether you believe your dreams are given to you by a higher power as a premonition or are a byproduct of your own imagination, it would be a shame to let your dreams go to waste and not do anything to jump-start them into a reality.

I have seen people do all kinds of things to their dreams. Some people have buried them so deep in their hearts in order to protect them from the criticism of others.  Some people have set them out of sight so they do not have to think about them anymore.  Some people finally just give up on their dreams because it hurts too much to hold on to them.

If you are any one of these people, do not throw away your dreams! Remember: they are given to you for a reason, so why not pursue them? It would be a shame to let such priceless and precious dreams go to waste when all you need is a starting point to jump-start your dreams:

First: You need to get a vision that is clear. A clear vision means to interpret your dream correctly. You can either do this yourself or do some research online on dream interpretation. It is very important to have a clear vision of what it is that you intend to achieve.  You do not want to find yourself going off on the wrong path in life. This will turn your dreams into nightmares.

Second: You must keep the vision in front of you at all times.  Keeping the vision in your eyesight at all times serves as a constant reminder of the reason why you wake up every morning, the purpose for your life, and the destination of where you want to be at in life. You could make a note to yourself and place this note wherever you spend a majority of your time. You could wear something symbolic that reminds you of your vision everytime you see it or touch it. You could record a message to yourself and play it whenever you feel like giving up. Think of creative ways that work best for you.

Third: Find a balance between ambition and contentment.  Be content with what you have and where are in life at the moment, but do whatever it takes to stay ambitious enough to change your life for the better. Dreams can only be made into a reality step-by-step, one day at a time.

Fourth: Be patient – with yourself and your vision.  Having a vision does not mean that it will instantly appear.  There is a process, and that process requires a lot of work, time, dedication, and effort on your part. You have to remain just as enthused about the process of your vision as you are in the end result. Train yourself to be satisfied to the point where you are not disturbed by the progress you are making toward your vision, especially when it seems like you are not making any progression at all.

Never allow yourself to get upset with wherever you are at the moment. Remember, this is a one-step-one-day-at-a-time process. Always look forward to where you WILL be and learn to enjoy where you are while you are on your way to where you are going.

© 2013 Learus Ohnine