OPINION: The “American Dream” takes dedication, realistic goals

The Sentinel For some students, the concept of the American Dream — white picket fences and a happy family — feels outdated or unattainable, but it is something that can still be achieved. While the American Dream is achievable, students must keep in mind that it takes hard work and dedication.In many ways, the idea of the American Dream has been corrupted. People face a perpetual barrage of images of mansions, perfectly-toned bodies, supercars and other outrageous displays of prosperity and success.
Social media has completely distorted what a realistic existence looks like. Seeing images of “successful” people is like being shown a snapshot of a man at the summit of a mountain, smiling and cheerful that he made it there. However, what students are not shown, and often fail to remember, is that there is a grueling and arduous climb to the top.
Few people are willing to be transparent on social media about moments where they threw up their hands in frustration at the unbridled misery and absurdity that life threw at them. People on the other side of the screen do not see the moments where they pondered quitting because things were difficult. The tragedy in this is that viewers deceive themselves into believing that success is easy and that anyone can do it on a whim.
According to Robert J. Shiller in the New York Times, “[in] the 1930s, [the American Dream] meant freedom, mutual respect and equality of opportunity. It had more to do with morality than material success.”
The American Dream is what students decide to make of it. Of course, material success does not equate to happiness or emotional success. Possessions and status are fleeting and impermanent. For some, the American Dream is simply to be happy and content with life.
“I believe happiness and contentment in life can be found, but not through following a …

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