Blessed are the innocent for they have aspirations

It’s kind of refreshing with all the depressing news concerning the Big R that some people out there still have a positive outlook. An unrealistic outlook, mind you, but none the less a positive one.

According to a report in the Irish Times this week, almost one in five college students believe they will be earning at least €100,000 per year, and over 60 per cent expect to own their house or flat by the time they are 30.

Ah, it’s good to have aspirations!

Some 3,354 final-year students were surveyed in the seven universities in the Republic – UCD, TCD, NUI Maynooth, DCU, UCC, UL, and NUI Galway with some interesting results!

Not only do they have aspirations for the big bucks and for their own home, but they also plan to have invested in a buy-to-let or holiday property by 30.

These optimistic young ones think they’ll be earning at least €48,000 within five years of graduation, with some 6 per cent thinking they will glide into management positions with an annual salary of at least €75,000 by 2014. A majority of students think they will rake in the big money working for multinationals such as KPMG, Google, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. These three companies were the employers of choice for the class of 2009. Nice job if you can get it. But on what level of reality are these students living?

I guess the nice thing about college is you’re in your little bubble of college life without much thought for the real world. That’s fair enough if the reality you’re stepping into is fairly safe and dependable. But we all know that’s not the case.

When I heard that many of the students thought that by the age of 30 they would be settled down to married life with kids I thought - that’s nice. But minds will change with maturity.

Thing is though, that’s the great thing about college. You don’t have to worry about paying taxes, income levies, and PRSI. You get to swan around campus, learn, explore, drink!

But these aren’t normal times. And perhaps lecturers should consider preparing their students for the big bad world. Or at least advise them to continue with their higher education for a few more years!

And for those of us who aren’t in employment maybe now is the time to re-educate, become innocent to the wicked ways of the world, and create some magically unrealistic aspirations for ourselves too!

Because, let’s face it, reality at the moment isn’t much fun, and we could all do with an escape from it!


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