What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up? Part 3: What I Grew Up With & Where I'm Going
Ok so she has timestamps on this video which makes journaling on this much easier for me.
1:18-2:22: The Pressure from Childhood
Katherine talks about how growing up around San Francisco in a work centric culture that she never really questioned hustle culture and some of the unhealthy aspects of it. She mentions that there was a pressure to go to an elite 4 year university growing up and then get a prestigious brand name job and basically have your life planned out by the time you're 13 instead of letting yourself grow, explore your interests, let yourself be creative, and make memories with friends. Instead, there is this pressure of figuring out your life 5-10 years down the line which isn't healthy for children at that age.
While I didn't grow up in the Bay Area, I did grow up in a circle of strict, and often elitist Asian parents so I do kind of get that pressure to go to an elite 4 year university and have your life planned out. I remember that at 17 my uncle asked me what I was majoring in and what the prospects of that major will be 15 years from now, how things will grow and what career path I'm going to take. And I was just sitting there like *listen my guy, I'm 17, I can't remember what life was like 15 years ago yet you expect me to figure out where I'm going to be in 15 years and how life will turn out and honestly wtf.*
2:23-3:53: How College Pushes You Towards Industry
Here she talks about how her business major was basically like majoring in jobs and doesn't have the same academic rigor as a lot of liberal arts majors and how you aren't exposed to theory, different ways of looking at the world, and critical thinking as much as other majors. She mentions on how the practical aspects of a business degree is important but it's also important to have a balanced and ethical world view so that you have a better idea on how to do business.
I agree with her 100%. I am majoring in management and international relations with a minor in human rights. I am getting a business degree and I'm also pursuing something that has a lot of the humanities and social sciences as well. I'm exposed to both groups of people, business majors and liberal arts majors and while educationally I get the best of both worlds, the practical knowledge of a business degree and the critical thinking skills of a liberal arts degrees, I do see these two worlds collide in conflicting ways at times. Business as a field of study is blowing up more and more in universities and I think a lot of it has to do with the way that learning is commodified as a way of getting a degree to get a job instead of learning for the sake of learning and educating yourself. Especially in the U.S. where colleges are like businesses that put people into debt, there is this notion of *you need to get a degree that is worth the money and that will pay off the debt* instead of pursuing something you're actually interested in and that makes you feel educated about the world. And with a lot of people who majored in business, at least where I went to school, I did get a vibe of being more achievement oriented rather than looking out for the broader system and empathizing with others. And even if I don't use my international relations degree of my human rights minor, I do believe that choosing to study these subjects did give me a more well rounded education.
In this basically she talks about how once she got dropped into the corporate world she started being skeptical about what it is she was doing with her life and if corporate America is for her. Then she started talking about working to live vs living to work and how having your career as a big part of your identity can be detrimental in your sense of happiness, fulfillment, and mental health and how a lot of the happiest countries in the world have less work/labor centric cultures compared to the U.S. Then she discusses the dangers of glorifying work.
While I haven't worked a corporate job, I did find myself questioning a lot of this especially lately as I've been trying to figure out my purpose, my priorities, and how I want to live my life. Despite what this video says, I do have a dream career that I'm piecing together but I am aware that this is a piece to my fulfillment and it isn't everything. I do want to align myself with my life purpose but I also believe that there is so much more to life purpose than a career and the skills you're cultivating. I do also have a desire to go out and explore different places and their attitude towards work and career because I do believe that other places on the planet has a more balanced and healthier view on this. I liked her example of the Netherlands and how when you ask people what they do they list out their hobbies and their roles in other people's lives before talking about what they do for a living because their interests and roles in the community is a better reflection of them. I found that really wholesome.
This section talks about how to cope with this situation which includes but isn't limited to setting boundaries, taking care of yourself, contemplating what would you do if all of your needs are fulfilled to actualize, and looking at the people you admire and take note what you actually admire about them.
I don't really much to say on this but valid points and action items were made. I like the question "if capitalism wasn't a thing and all of your needs and wants were fulfilled, what would you do with your time?" I feel like this is a different version of the 10 million dollar question that some self help gurus talk about which is along the lines of "if you had 10 million dollars, what would you do with your time after you exhausted your needs and wants?" And I think the question about what you would do with your time if all of you needs are fulfilled is a good place to end this post and a good note to think about going forward.