MILLENNIAL THINK: Here’s To the Ones Who Dream

Steven Verdile, Design Editor

In the Oscar-winning film La La Land (2016), Emma Stone captures the audience in her final audition, commending struggling actors as she sings, “Here’s to the fools who dream / Crazy as they may seem.” This romanticized message is consistently seen across pop culture, but on the grounds of a college campus, you only hear its antithesis.

College comes with a hefty tuition bill, but too often a degree is seen as a financial investment.  While education may lead to jobs with high-salaries, the actual purpose of higher education is to allow people to explore and to learn. If your career-path ends in a difficult job market, such as theater or art or philosophy, it does not mean your education was less valuable. Nor does it mean that your money has been wasted.

To all of the parents out there that want their kid to major in engineering or pre-med, I get it. It’s a tough blow to find out your child is passing up on the lucrative STEM fields and accruing debt to become an English major—but that is their choice and you should be proud to support them.  They are fully aware of the obstacles ahead of them, but they’re still ambitious enough to pursue their passion.

I find that far more admirable than choosing an undesired path that ends in a guaranteed and unsatisfying job, regardless of how many zeros could be printed on their future paychecks.

If you’re a student considering a new major, and you want to go after that uphill dream, do it!  I’m not suggesting that you immediately stop, drop and roll to Hollywood, but every job field has openings and there’s no shame in rolling the dice. Regardless of what other people may think, those dice are yours to roll.

I don’t want to contradict myself and be a buzz kill, but please do not throw those dice haphazardly. Chasing your dream can take a lot of money, time, and energy and it is important that you acknowledge that. It is your responsibility to research the best way to achieve your goals, and to take the steps that will get you closer to them. It is also your responsibility to accept the possibilities and to have a plan for the worst-case scenarios.

If you’ve thought it all out and you still have the spirit to go be a crazy fool who dreams, I applaud you and I encourage you to go after them. I hope your classmates, family and friends do too.