While many teens spend their earnings from their part time jobs on material goods such as the latest clothing trends and slick cell phones, others choose to save their earnings to help pay for costs such as college. In life, people analyze these choices and their effects to make rational decisions. But most people will choose either value more often then not.
I believe in investing in the future. That is resisting immediate gratification for an expected greater benefit in the future. This ideal does not just mean saving money. It includes anything that a person does now that will not pay off until a later time; such as practice for a football team, joining the investment club, and studying on a Saturday night.
Take the major decision to enter college or to enter the workforce out of high school. By entering the workforce out of high school, an individual can begin earning full time pay quickly. Choosing college however, not only means that a student not earning a sustainable pay, but the student must pay their tuition. So why would I as well as everyone at Syracuse University make such a decision to attend college? The answer is simple; we expect to reap future benefits from obtaining a college degree that would not be available to high school graduates. These benefits from attending college could take the form of money, personal satisfaction, success, and social connections that would otherwise not be there.
Similarly, investing in the future leaves a person prepared for the next stage of life. As of now, my next stage is to enter a career in business. In order to do that, I must enhance qualities that are beneficial in the business world during college. I must improve vital skills such as speaking, communication, teamwork, leadership, and work ethic. This requires unbearable work and nominal gratification early on, but as I build my career, knowing these skills will allow me to advance further than if I lacked these skills.
My parents taught me the value to invest in the future. After my father opened a savings account for me I found it fascinating to see my account earn 1% interest every six months. Ever since then, I have always looked ahead when I made decisions that could impact me positively in the future. I understand that decisions my parents made during their adolescence and young adulthood greatly shaped who they are today. Decisions like working hard, going to college, and taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves all aided in their rich experiences in their adulthood. Their experiences showed me that the longer I invest in my future and avoid useless instant satisfaction, the greater my reward will become
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.