Gdovin: Financial stability is important but does not define us

Gdovin argues that a recent study citing that “our generation is more focused on making money” is not accurate.

We just want to be rich. While this may not be our only goal in life, it is how other generations view the Millennials. In a recent study by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology researchers compared attitudes of the current generation to those of previous ones. They surveyed students from San Diego State University and the University of Georgia about the importance of certain life and career goals. They determined that our generation is more focused on making money than on making a difference. These results are not representative of our generation.

According to the article, “Compared to Boomers,” Millennials were less likely to have donated to charities, less likely to want a job worthwhile to society or that would help others, and less likely to agree they would eat differently if it meant more food for the starving.

From what I have seen with this generation, I don’t believe this to be true. While we may have a smaller percentage donating to charities, it may be because we spend more of our time volunteering at charitable organizations, which was also proven in the article. The vague term of a “job worthwhile to society” is hard to decipher. Jobs are created for a reason, and I doubt that certain jobs would exist if they were not worthwhile. As for waste, college students are heavily involved with the green movement. Even Temple has large programs to reduce waste that many students partake in.

The study portrays wanting to be “financially well-off” as a negative quality. I don’t know of many who would wish otherwise. Financial stability can lead to a better quality of life, and allow for more time spent volunteering and helping others. Stability also does not equate to being rich. Those who are just stable can not always spend extra on luxuries of the rich. Our generation is racking up college debt and entering an unstable job market. How can we be expected to not want to make a decent living?

We can make money and make a difference. So many college students today are working to change the world. A large majority of jobs today are in the service industry, the fastest growing industry in our country. Social media sites have made it even easier for us to contact others and build movements even faster than generations before. We just understand that it is a balancing act. Just as we are taught time management in college, we will be able to juggle working hard both in and out of the office.

As many college students prepare to graduate and enter the job market, keep in mind that real satisfaction can come from doing what you love and seeing others benefit as well. Use spare time to volunteer in areas of interest, but may not have wanted a career in. A job does not need to be what defines someone. Do what you love and the money will come.

Sarae Gdovin can be reached at

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