By Nina Underman
At age 7, a piece of junior Connor Lynch’s artwork was selected to be displayed at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The award sparked Lynch’s interest in art, and said he has been creating it ever since. But with college quickly approaching, Lynch said he has had to think about whether his love for art could be turned into a fruitful career. “Art gets a bad rap for being a risky career choice and ‘starving artist’ is the lifestyle most people think of Lynch said.
Most people struggle with career choices, but those choices become tougher when the question of financial stability gets tossed into the mix. With the current economic conditions, future job seekers have become increasingly interested in the financial rewards associated with prospective careers.
But some still pursue their dreams, regardless of financial concerns. Lynch said possible lack of financial stability would not dissuade him from pursuing a career in art. He said, “As long as I have food to eat and my art is successful and fulfilling and keeping me happy, I’m good.”
He said his parents support his decision. “They hope I can find a career that I can enjoy and excel at, and for me, that’s art.”
Freshman Victoria Baron, though, said she thinks differently. Baron said she is interested in a career in health care, a field typically associated with high salaries. Baron said she believes passion should influence career choices to some extent, but “you still have to be able to earn a living and pay your bills.”
“I feel like becoming a doctor would be a win-win situation,” Baron said. “You’re saving lives, but at the same time you are paid well for what you do. Doctors make a lot of money.”
Still, even that mindset might be misleading. Vicki Nunery, College and Career Resource Center counselor, said with the current economy, jobs that are financially stable are difficult to find. “Many jobs that were once considered financially sound have lost that stability,” Nunery said.
Overall though, Nunery said students should follow their passions when choosing a career. “Everyone has gifts and their careers should reflect those gifts and talents,” she said.
For Lynch, it is clear to him that his talent is art. “People often lose sight of what really makes them happy. For me, I have found something that I’m good at, really good at, and it brings me a lot more happiness than money ever could. This June I have the opportunity to receive a Scholastic Art and Writing Awards national gold medal at Carnegie Hall (for my work). The excitement and pride I get from that could never be replaced with money.”