This is a guest post by Alexander Ajede, a student at Fitchburg State University.

I have heard the statement, ‘I don’t know what I want to do when I get out of school’ too many times. Often the people who profess this have pursued a degree solely to make a living—perhaps even a lucrative one. It may seem to make sense to go to school to pursue a ‘tolerable’ profession that will allow one to make good/decent money. While seemingly “practical,” the result is many people taking up occupations that are undesirable.

Society should push as many people as possible away from mediocrity and conforming to others’ expectations. The only use for doing work that does not make you happy is as a means to reach your ultimate goals, your dream.

Many people will tell you to stop dreaming of this or that, and will tell you many reasons why it will never happen for you. Most of them do so because they are too afraid to take the venture themselves. Fear can have a harmful impact on determining your career or realizing your passions; it can be crippling or discouraging to any endeavors you may choose to take.

Once doubt or uncertainty sets in, it may be hard to extricate yourself from fear of failure, of disgrace, of letting your family down. Fortunately, I haven’t had family tell me I can’t or ‘you shouldn’t’; they’ve been relatively supportive. Those who share my attitude and are told that they can’t will respond with, ‘watch me’.

On the exterior, I have an unwavering bravado, but I’m as fraught with fright as anyone else. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I won’t sit still to let society’s waves of uniformity and pragmatism decide my course. I’ll oppose it and chart my own way.

My greatest obstacle has always been myself. I had a faulty notion that I was not in control and that my upbringing was my greatest hindrance to being successful. I believed if I failed I would have someone or something else to blame—perhaps my lack of money or connections. I found it was much easier to place culpability on everything else.

I’m a writer about to graduate with a degree in professional writing and can appreciate those more experienced in the field who explain the practicalities of the profession, such as ‘if you write books, make sure to have a “day job” to support yourself,’ and how challenging this career may be, and how difficult it is to wait for a response from publishers. Yet, whether positive or negative, the advice they gave me was never a ‘don’t do it’ or ‘don’t go down that route’. Even if it was in their minds, they knew in their heart to not be an impediment to my passion.

What do you think? Join the conversation with your comments…