Follow Your Dreams – Unless You’re Poor

Millennials nationwide were taught to pursue their dreams, and the money would follow. Unfortunately, the advice forgot to include a critical caveat. 

Following your dreams doesn’t work if you’re poor. 

You Can Be Anything You Want

Millennial’s parents wanted the world for their children. They filled their heads with delusions of grandeur, impressing that they could do anything they wanted. 

Millennials dreamed of changing the world. They wanted to become doctors, scientists, teachers, firefighters, police officers, and writers. They wanted to study history, the arts, sociology, philosophy, and pursuits of the mind to prepare themselves for creating a better world. 

False Dream

As the harsh reality of skyrocketing education costs, student loans with insurmountable balances, and a job market with stagnant wages came crashing down on millennials’ heads; they realized they were sold a false dream. 

Most millennials are too poor to be anything they want. 

Being What You Want Costs Money

Many Millennials who wanted to become doctors, lawyers, and scientists opted out after seeing the shocking price tag associated with higher education. Those that didn’t are still attempting to dig out from the massive burden of student loan debt. 

Some who choose to study humanities, the arts, and teaching find themselves saddled with a debt that they can never pay, as their future earnings potential will never be enough to pay the debt and pay for life. 

Living is Too Expensive

It’s not just education costs that make following your dreams unachievable. The rising cost of living due to rampant inflation has pushed many people’s dreams out of reach. 

At one point, teachers could afford to pay for a master’s degree in teaching while working in the field. Those days are long gone. As the average teacher’s salary lingers around $68,500, most can’t afford a home in today’s market.  The average monthly rent is nearly $2000, eating away almost half the teacher’s take-home pay. 

Social workers, artists, actors, firefighters, EMTs, zookeepers, and other professions people choose for the love of it pay even less, meaning the poorest among us can’t afford to live while working in these fields. 

Who Does These Jobs?

If these jobs don’t pay enough to live, who does them?

People with access to generational wealth have no problem working careers they love. Many artists hail from wealthy families. Their parents paid for fancy grad schools and funded their loft apartments, allowing them to focus on their work. Their ability to live and work without worrying about bills enhances their creativity, giving them the best chance to make an honest living as artists. 

The lower-paying jobs get filled by folks who rely on partners, parents, or roommates to live. Two people sharing a one-bedroom apartment, each making only 30K per year, can combine resources to survive. 

However, that gets much harder if they opt to have children, as they must either pay outrageous prices for daycare or lose one person’s earnings as they become a stay-at-home parent. 

What The Poor Must Do Instead

The modern working class is finally waking up to the truth their forebearers knew all too well: they can’t do anything they want. They’re limited by their need to survive in this world of endlessly increasing expenses. 

Many give up on their dreams of helping others, making history, and creating epic works of art to focus on earning the almighty dollar. They’ve realized they need money to survive and can’t continue pursuing a career that doesn’t pay. 

The United States enjoyed one brief moment of prosperity where the American Dream of pursuing your dreams worked for everyone. That moment has passed. The American Dream only works for the rich. 

Everyone else must toil endlessly in meaningless labor for the pleasure of a bare-bones existence devoid of joy.