graduate school started a few weeks ago for me. classes, schoolwork, reading, it's all back and i'm not particularly excited about it. graduate school is a means to an end for me. i can't find a job, i want a job at a college, so i'm in higher education management. makes sense right? i thought it did, at least. that is until i got to my classes and realized that about 95% of my program is considerably more motivated and career-oriented than i am. this made me wonder; am i not motivated enough? am i missing something? are my priorities out of whack? why am i the only one in the class who seems to have things on their mind besides school?
so let's investigate. american society today has different priorities than it once did. people in the professional realm seem to place quite a bit of importance on money. maybe that's not the difference. but people in my class talked about how people in our line of work may choose to be single longer because they have long hours and lots of moving from job to job. working their way up the professional ladder to bigger and better careers seems like the motivation for people in my classes. who doesn't want bigger and better though? i mean, i could always use more money. but what are they sacrificing by making these professional moves? relationships? friends? time to themselves? i'm pretty sure i have little interest in sacrificing those things.
so now i start thinking about why my mindset is different than my classmates'. my focus in my career is pretty much to make enough money to provide for myself and my family. that's it. i don't have any big career aspirations. i know my dad raised my family on a pretty modest salary, put us all through college, and raised quite a beautiful family, life, and home. and he never became president of anything. were his motivations wrong? is there something missing? my thoughts are no. my priorities are different than my colleagues. do i want to be president of college? sure, it'd be cool. am i willing to put forth those long hours and sacrifices to do so? i doubt it. is that so wrong?
my motivation in my life right now and for the future is pretty simple; be as happy as possible all the time. that's it man. why on earth would i want to do anything else? heck, that's selfish enough. i haven't even mentioned the part about my faith calling me to serve God in all that i do; the other goal in my life. so what kind of motivation does that give me for my career? i want to move up the ladder, find a job i like, make as much money as possible. but the more money i make, the better i can provide for my family, the more my wife can stay home and care for our kids, the more i can donate to my friends in ministry and other worthy causes.
my short term goal isn't anything complicated. right now i want to enjoy life as much as possible while graduating. in two years i want to get to seattle. i want to live there and get started in the higher ed realm. that's it. and that might change between now and the time i graduate. what i do know is that my friend jenn seemed to enjoy being an RD at seattle pacific university and that looks pretty good to me too. at least it'll pay more than olive garden.