Conventional is Boring and a Waste of My Time

If you ask me if we are doing what we actually want to be doing, I’d have to say, for the most part, no, no we are not. If you asked me if society is determining our fate, our future, our paths in lives, I’d have to say yes, without a doubt, yes.

As a college senior graduating in only a few months, I have decisions to make. As many decisions as you may think their are, their really are only two. The choices are as follows: either take the paved out and status quo route, or “take the road less traveled by” (cliche Robert Frost quote, you’re welcome).

Its ironic to me that doing what you want, if it means going against conventional norms such as finding the perfect, stable job upon graduation from college, is deemed as irresponsible, and senseless. Getting a standard 9-5 day job is put on a pedestal, praised, worshipped even. Or consider the dream job with a less than ideal geographic location or horrible hours, yet you would be seen as an idiot to turn it down. It is of course a job that so many others would kill for, one that provides you with security, stability, everything you should want…

“No amount of wealth can guarantee a sense of satisfaction with life.” (

You should have a job. You should definitely have a job. You should work, you should give back, you should leave the world a better place than it was when you came into it. However in my 21 years I have found that doing something I do not enjoy doing and doing it over and over again, does not make me happier nor does it all the sudden have me fancy whatever the task may be. It does however make me grow increasingly resentful, bitter and burnt out.

Its not easy to step outside of conventional norms. It is very clear that we have a paved out path in society and that it can be dangerous, risky as I stated earlier,  and deemed as irresponsible if taken. I have found, however that the happiest, most meaningful moments in my life did not come about through conventionality. When I spoke out when others didn’t, when I traveled somewhere that others wouldn’t, when I, through my actions, purposefully and thoughtfully took on something others may consider unconventional – these were the moments in time when foundations were created, character shaped, and positivity omnipresent.

In my own life, I would like to play by my own rules. In my own life, I would like to have the choice to do what I want with the time that I have been given on this earth.

You can’t judge a persons contentment and happiness with their life based on their paycheck or their day job. This is something I think society should work to remember. A reminder that, “the only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that [our] very existence is an act of rebellion.” (Albert Camus)

About the Author
Shayna Friedman is the Social Media Manager at the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey. A recent graduate from Penn State University where she grew the Student Supporting Israel chapter, she works towards navigating the Social Media realm, exploring what it means to be Jewish and to support Israel in America.