To follow your passions, or to earn more money?

Fiona Hinkulow, Senior Writer

When finding a degree, should you concentrate on your passions or seek a degree offering high-paying jobs?
High-school is the turning point for everyone, the point when one must decide his future career when he still doesn’t understand what he wants to do. Many students that may have a poorer background than others or have a family that wants them to have a better chance at life than themselves are pressured to pursue an uninteresting degree they aren’t passionate about. On the other hand, students pursuing a degree within a highly competitive field may feel overwhelmed, unaccomplished, and (potentially) penniless.
These two extremes create the age-old conundrum of post-secondary education. When discussing with various high school teachers about why they chose to pursue a career in education, the general consensus was that teaching provided an intellectual challenge. As opposed to doing mind-numbingly boring tasks, education provides a balance between creativity and ways of perceiving contemporary and antiquated issues.
However, the only drawback to this field is the low income, averaging in Washington State at $52,234 annually (according to Along with the insubstantial income, teachers must also act as performers, captivating students to impart with them some scrap of knowledge to be regurgitated again the next class period. In the end, when it comes to majors, there is no right or wrong answer; it all depends on the individual and their interests.
From my point of view as a wannabe music performance major, I understand that majoring in such a competitive field, like the medical field, is a very risky move. Still, I’ve been playing the violin since kindergarten and started viola in fourth grade. Compared to the rest of Liberty’s population, I’m one of those extreme outliers that have been conditioned to pursue a career in music.
Even if you choose a degree that you later find isn’t what you anticipated, and your parents and friends think that you going into this degree was not the best choice to begin with, you tried out something and explored your capacities.
Many literary works that I’ve read throughout high school have taught me this: the path to happiness doesn’t depend on what you own; it’s about what gets you to put your best foot forward, and what makes you feel exhilarated to be alive every single second. I believe that anyone who chooses a major because of being persuaded by family, expecting high pay and job security, will never be able to perform at the same level of someone who simply loves what he or she is doing.