UOK wrote:It's something that I feel is very human and ingrained in our culture, species, and tradition. Self-expression and creativity requires an outlet, and because the job market doesn't typically reward artistic or creative-thinking driven professions without years of hard work and self-industry, parents encourage their children to focus on "realistic" careers that often have no merit beyond a safe paycheck and a steady, if not disappointing income.
I'm not saying everybody should strive to be an artist or musician, etc, but everybody should at some point be exposed to that world and challenge themselves, no matter what the age, to open that part of their minds.
I took the long way around and got a fine arts degree before going back to get my med lab scientist degree that I actually use for employment now (I only have 3 undergrad degrees, two more minors, and 450 credit hours! LOL)
I'm a firm believer that "smart" is some sort of combination of knowledge + creativity.
When I decided to go back for this science degree, which is essentially a bunch of chemistry classes, I had always been good at science but just a so so student. I always had teachers who said I was smart but should work harder, stuff like that, I always took that to mean I was actually just dumb and that's how they say it politely. Then I wanted a better job than my art degree could get me and I thought I'd go back to school to be a lab tech and I was so nervous I actually tried for once and I ended up with a 4.0 (Summa Cum Laude), I tutored guys that are doctors now. I honestly don't know that I would've been able to do that without what I learned in art school. What I really learned in art school was how to finish something I had started, you think you can finish whatever you start because you are interested in it but even the most interesting subject becomes a chore after a while and as an artist, you are usually over whatever statement you are creating before you are actually done with the physical art, so it becomes work, and being able to see that work through to completion is what allowed me to have the confidence to start something like a chemistry degree like I did.
THAT SAID, I have three kids, my middle guy is an artist for sure, and I tend to cringe when I think of him going to school for art like I did. I went to college in the 90's and it was a state school, I remember paying $14 for 3 credit hours of required algebra! There's just not enough money for him to try and get 200 credit hours and then have to go looking for 200 more when he realizes he can't get a job with the first degree. If he is willing to move away from the midwest, then maybe he can get away with a real liberal arts degree like that but I'd sure feel more comfortable with him having an accounting degree first and THEN following through with something liberal after that! LOL
But I am proud of the path I took to keep learning right through adulthood, keep pressure on yourself to push into areas you've been interested in but didn't quite think you could handle. But give your kids enough self confidence to do the degree that makes money first!