The Almighty Dollar

Working as an usher at UCLA Royce Hall is worlds apart from what I do here at the internship. This weekend while working at the theater, I was shocked at how unfamiliar the scene had become for me. Here at the internship, I feel a sense of cultural unity between the other interns and myself. I feel like we’re all working together and share the same goals and aspirations as far as our work here is concerned. However, it’s very different at my job. There is a feeling of team effort there too, but it is much more impersonal. The ruling sentiment over there is “to work for that dollar”, and I might be the guiltiest when it comes to indulging in that thought. Of course I’m not saying that earning money is something to be ashamed of, and I’m definitely not saying that using money as motivation makes you a bad person, but that kind of mentality doesn’t give you the same fulfillment as working on something you believe in. As great as Royce Hall has been to me, I have no overwhelming desire to show theater patrons to their seats for the rest of my life. 

This made me remember the two paradigms I’ve been taught throughout my life. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had all kinds of people tell me that when choosing a career, I should either choose a job in which I do what I love or a job in which I make a lot of money regardless of whether or not I enjoy the work. I feel like both arguments have valid points because I know how unsatisfactory a boring job could be, but at the same time I also know how difficult it is to be happy without money.

After some thought on the matter, I came to this conclusion: The things I like wouldn’t really make any decent money, and it would be folly to try to make a living by pursuing my hobbies as a career. I feel like I would end up resenting them because I would always be hungry for a better life. I have always found that whenever I was told to do something, even something I liked, I grew to resent the task because an outside force always dictated the manner in which I did it. After a couple of days, what was once fun, had now turned into work and one more hobby I no longer enjoyed. However, the alternative to this problem dawned on me. By getting involved in a profitable business, I would be able to earn enough money to live a comfortable life, while also having the money to fund the pursuits of some of my more irresponsible and exciting hobbies. This way, while at work, I would act in the manner that my superiors expect of me, completing assignments and by keeping it professional. In addition to this, while not at work, I would be free to enjoy my passions without having to worry about how much profit I was earning. This would enable me to relax and have fun, instead of forcing myself through some strange unbalanced mixture of the two.

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