Money motivation: does it dictate our life choices

Setodzi Avoke
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Money is an obstacle which many students have to overcome throughout their college career. Photo by: Tyler Betzweiser

Money is an obstacle which many students have to overcome throughout their college career.

If money was no longer a concern, what would Hudson Valley students do with their lives?

The pursuit of cash can be equated to the pursuit of options, and options come as a result of the freedoms available to people within a society.

Through their wealth, an individual is often equipped with the power to choose the sort of people they associate with, where they live and how well they can pursue their whims or passions.

Engineering science major Kenny Abel would switch gears to a business and finance focused education for himself if he no longer had to worry about making money.

“I’d [become] a businessman; create my own small business and try expanding it,” said Abel.

Abel feels that money can have a deterministic effect on the course of a life.

“It affects everyone’s life differently. Depending on how you grow up, your relationship with money [can influence] whether or not you go to college, what you’re going to do with your life and what opportunities [you’re] presented within your life will be different than those of less fortunate people,” said Abel.

Business major Arianna Judge would take the opportunity to travel the world.

“I definitely want to go Italy and then Hawaii, I like warm places,” said Judge, who would also transfer to a college in the south.

Judge would continue her business oriented education due to her “love of communications” that is moving her toward a career path she’d like to be in regardless of wealth.

Another important quality of money is the stabilizing effect that it can take on students like having debts or a constant pressure to make rent
“People are always nervous about money; what they can afford [and] what they can’t afford,” said Judge.

Nursing major Dianne Taylor would also enjoy traveling, particularly to Italy in order to “explore” and “take in the sights.”

Taylor would change her major to nurse practitioner, key difference from broader nursing being that a nurse practitioner would have completed an advanced degree program that equips its graduates to diagnose medical issues, prescribe medication and more.

Taylor thinks that money in today’s society is a “worry” that consumes more time than it may have in the past.

“Everybody has to work two or three jobs, you have a lot of single parents out there—minimum wage—[and] I feel [as if] a lot of people take advantage of medicaid and other benefits,” said Taylor.

“Working people have to work ten times harder to get above where [some] people are getting assistance for free,” said Taylor.

In certain parts of the country and within some demographic spheres, an economic decline may be perceived despite record stock market gains following the election of Donald Trump.

The situations of everyday Americans may not match the optimistic outlooks of commenters focused on economic trends at the national level.

If engineering science major Eduard Kutkovskii no longer had to worry about cash, he’d pursue an interest in vehicle design by starting an automotive design business.

“I’m a huge car guy and [cars are] pretty much my passion—I’m pretty sure I’d [still] be in college and I would still go for engineering because I’d like to know how things work, how things are made, how you can build [and] design them,” said Kutkovskii.

“There’s a lot of stuff you can learn in college that you can’t actually learn by yourself, for example, calculus. Good luck learning that [alone].”

Money issues can strike at any demographic, but can be particularly difficult to navigate for younger people inexperienced with maintaining a responsible budget.

“How you manage your money determines how far you’re going to get,” said Kutkovskii.

“If you’re always spending [cash] on meaningless things then you’re not really going to make it too far; you are most likely going to be living paycheck to paycheck. The best thing to do in life is save up money as much as you can. Be cheap,” said Kutkovskii.

Although Kutkovskii recognizes how “hard” this can be, he said that in the long run, one will be benefited with more relaxation time and disposable income for their discipline in the future.

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