I was talking to a friend of mine who recently entered college. Because he was Singaporean, he spent two years in the army before he came here. This line really made me think:
“You know, I think I want to go into investment banking…because…well, I’m already 21, and I have to do something with my life.”
The sad reality is, sometimes we realize we are old, and we don’t want to fall behind. The most discomforting sight is seeing someone younger, and more successful than you.
Yes, it is a painful sight, but sometimes in life, it is more important to slow down. It isn’t about blindly rushing forward, and overtaking the person in front of you. The race doesn’t even exist. Yet, the financial security mentality whittles down on you everyday. As a student, it is inevitable that you feel the monetary constraints on your life. There are so many things you want to enjoy, yet so little ability to go out and enjoy those things. Even if you come from an upper-class family, you may want to, in your own right, search for monetary security. The earlier the better…
Then again. Sometimes, only by slowing down, can you find out what you really love. Sure, you can develop an interest in finance, but is it developed for the right reason? If you develop your interests for the wrong reasons, later on in life, you will realize how your deficient incentive system will bring your downfall.
To my friend, and to all others in the same position, I hope you stop and think. When you enter that J.P. Morgan campus event, I hope you can stop and think what you really want to do, and where your passions lie. Ask yourself, am I doing this for money, or am I doing this because this is what I love regardless of pay. You will not only be doing yourself a favor, but the financial sector a favor as well.