“What’s your major?”
If Millennials had a nickel for every time we were prodded with this question, we would be able to buy more ramen noodles than we could consume. If we got another nickel for each time the response was “psychology,” then we might actually be able to afford a nice meal.
Not bashing on any psychology majors, but why is this the case? Obviously, psychology is awesome. It allows us to know more about the human race, various cultures and help millions of people through therapies and various forms of research.
However, the psychology job market is a dark shadow to this gleaming field.
CBS News claims that at 19.5 percent, a clinical psychology degree leads to the highest unemployment rate.
Most people studying psychology know the job market is extremely competitive, it does not necessarily lead to a secure financial future and will most likely lead to many more years in school before entering the real world.
So, why is psychology the fifth most popular college major in the country?
Here’s my theory: Generation-Y craves meaning. We crave understanding. Our generation yearns for some sense and truth in this fast-paced, insane world that whirls around us. Learning about the psychology of human nature satisfies all of these cravings.
Psychology teaches us why we are motivated to do things and serves as insight into the complex behaviors of those around us. Psychology provides some sense in an otherwise chaotic and confusing world.
The surge of psychology students in the United States serves as a quintessential example of how our generation’s priorities are creating our own version of a more meaningful American Dream.
The craving for meaning is a common trait among humans across the globe, but unlike generations before us, we seem to be actively pursuing lifestyles that propagate meaningful action. Generation-Y is not like previous generations.
For many of us, the American Dream sounds like an American Nightmare. A nine-to-five lockdown in a cubicle and a white picket fence at home are merely materialistic manipulations of someone else’s dream.
We crave more. As a generation, we hunger for meaningful jobs and platforms to impact those around us. More and more students seem to be gravitating toward the alluring field of psychology to satisfy the cravings of their lives.
That’s something in which we should take pride. Thank goodness we are a generation that aspires to benefit others and understand the intricacies of human nature.
As we redefine the American Dream, we are redefining society. Though we’re a generation that has been deemed narcissistic and tolerant, evidence seems to prove the contrary. So, study psychology if you so desire.
Perhaps we need to work to fill our lives with significance outside of the classroom. Maybe we need to spend more time working toward other dreams.
Whatever the case, find what fulfills you and pursue it. Try new experiences, say yes to the world around you and most importantly, surround yourself with people who raise you to higher, positive and more meaningful levels.
Generation-Y’s priorities are changing and the old notion of the American Dream is struggling to breathe. Go out into the world and use whatever tools you have to carve out your own dream. The world will never make sense to us.
As the great Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.”
Try to figure out what makes sense in your personal microcosm of life and pursue that. The world is far too complicated to live out someone else’s dream.
Photo via We Heart It