Do your homework, get good grades, take advanced classes, get into a great college-make money. Ok, so maybe people don’t just come out and say it, but why else would they work so hard on getting that degree?
According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Center Poll, 81 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds listed getting rich as either the most or second most important goal in life.
Conversely, in a poll conducted by the Associated Press and MTV only one percent listed money as a cause to their happiness. So if it is not making them happy, then why do young adults want money so bad?
“It’s like a game, like a race to see who can get the most money,” Daniel Taylor, a graduate student, said. “It’s almost like the thing to do.”
It is heard in music and it is seen on television. In our capitalistic society money is flaunted to no end. Perhaps teens are more susceptible to the imagery but that doesn’t mean that they want money and nothing else.
“It’s a more materialistic society,” Mike Sullivan, a sophomore history and secondary education major, said. “People want one thing and another as well.”
Maybe it’s not that young adults want money, but rather that they see money as a means to acquiring other things that they want. Money is universal; in order to get a car or a new pair of jeans it is necessary.
But money couldn’t possibly be more important than family and friends could it? Do people worship the almighty dollar above blood and water?
When asked what’s most important to her, Melissa Koch, a graduate student, said, “Family and raising my kids.”
Once a family is established, money seems to take a backseat. It almost seems that money isn’t a key to happiness but rather a life preserver that keeps a person from sinking into unhappiness.
Without it, young adults may feel inadequate but with it they may just feel safe and secure.
Not one student interviewed said that they thought getting rich was important, but perhaps that was because they were confronted with these statistics. The unconscious may harbor some of these monetary wants but it seems that at least some students know where their priorities lie.
“Money is a necessity, but ultimately the relationships you establish around you are most important,” Sullivan said.
It is near impossible to escape the “get rich” mentality in our society, but it seems that when it comes to happiness money is no substitute for family and friends.
Money can buy cars and money can grant the person who possesses it power, and while many young adults seem intent on gaining it, what they want most and what they need most-is priceless.