Pursuing one’s passion is a luxury many youth cannot afford
By Nethania Che (19-O4)
Designed by: Jo Yeoul (19-A2)
This piece was written in response to a commentary entitled “Gen Y speaks: When pursuing your passion burns you out”, posted on Today on 21 July 2019.
Today, there is an increasing acceptance towards youths following their passion and an increasing number of opportunities are available for them to explore various unconventional career paths according to their interests. However, this does not necessarily mean a better life for the youth of today.
The ability to pursue one’s passion to the extent where they are able to align their passions with their careers is a luxury that many youth, unfortunately, cannot afford.
While there may be a larger acceptance towards unconventional career choices and fewer expectations for the youth to conform to their parent’s wishes, many are still subjected to several unspoken and often overlooked constraints of life.
Unfortunately, pursuing one’s passion as a career is dependent on many more factors than the mere extent of one’s passion and grit. Many unpredictable factors are often associated with coincidence and luck, like the power of one’s connections or the timeliness of available opportunities, play a significant part in influencing the success of one’s pursuit.
I disagree that the threatening of a youth’s identity and self-worth due to their blinded expectation to thrive is the main concern when youths eventually decide to abandon their pursuits when faced with failure.
Rather, I believe many youths feel an increased pressure to achieve success quickly when they are pursuing an unconventional job of their choice, in order to prove to the nay-sayers around them wrong.
With the lack of abundant financial support, many youths cannot afford to endure uncountable failures or setbacks without a guarantee of success. They are pressured and expected to fetch a stable income to support themselves and lighten the financial burden on their parents. Many of them also harbour the personal goal of being able to support their parents, as an act of gratitude and to fulfil their duty as filial children.
Thus, many of them do not have the luxury of time or monetary resources to completely devote themselves to pursue and develop their passions as careers. To prevent further wastage of time or resources, many are forced to throw in the towel as soon as they realize their passions may not be viable career options.
Their eventual choice to forgo their passions and take on a more stable and conventional career route would be a result of them coming to terms with reality, rather than the unrealistic worldview that pursuing their passion would make their lives easier.
Their decision to give up the pursuit of their passion and to settle with a more stable and mundane career choice may instead be a clear demonstration of their sensibility and maturity that these youth have grown into as a result of their upbringing and development, which deserves to be commended.
Even the most passionate and determined individuals who are more than willing to bite the bullet and have a fierce determination to fulfil their dreams initially may be forced to throw in the towel after receiving a reality check from next month’s rental and utility bill.
This article was written in the author’s personal capacity. Views, opinions, and thoughts expressed in all articles published on The Origin* belong solely to the author(s) and do not represent the values or ethos of The Origin* or the College.