The “American” Dream


Makenzie Adams, Messenger Reporter and Social Media Manager

This article will probably come across as a bitter opinion article, but that’s okay because that’s exactly what it is.

Recently, the topic of the “American Dream” came up in one of my classes (shoutout to Ms. Shidal). It got me thinking about what a typical American Dream consists of. Is it a large house with 2 children and a perfectly trained dog? A good paying job with plenty of friends that you hang out with on Friday nights?

The truth is, there is no such thing as a typical American Dream. Everyone’s “American Dream” is different. Immigrants come to America for different reasons, chasing different goals. Every citizen has differents hopes and dreams. If we’re being honest, a lot of people want to be billionaires. That doesn’t make it a typical American Dream though. Not everyone can be in the top 1%. There’s a reason only 1% of the population is crazy rich. It’s hard to achieve, and while most people go on a rant about “hard work and dedication, blah, blah, blah”, it really all comes down to luck.

My American Dream consists of working my dream job and having a pet or two. I really don’t have many hopes, because I know that everything I want isn’t achievable. Sure, I can work as hard as I can and try to get where I want, but truth is, I’ll never have everything I want. No one ever gets everything unless their goals and expectations are pretty reasonable. Even the richest person in the world will always have an empty place in their heart for some reason, even if it is an unknown reason.

What about immigrants? What are their dreams? Why do they come to America? Some people say it’s for jobs. That may be true for some people, but a lot of people come seeking safety from their countries. While they don’t always feel much safer, they often hang on to the hope that they will have a better life here. But how can they hope to have a better life when there are so many U.S. citizens who are in poverty and can’t afford to go to school? There are so many problems plaguing the rest of the world that we forget what’s going on in our country. The only things we’re worried about are terrorists and arguing about our president’s actions.

While I don’t want to crush any dreams, living below the poverty line is a common reality that’s often ignored. We’d rather look at glamorous celebrities and pretend our lives will be like that. The media often focuses on celebrities and other well-known people. Since this is always shown on TV, it makes young children believe that the key to happiness is money. Honestly, they’re right. I hate to admit it, but money dominates everyone’s lives. It’s come to the point where everything is expensive because everything is in demand. We make money, we spend money on necessary things (and things we want), the manufacturers have to increase production, causing them to raise prices. It doesn’t help that most good paying jobs require a college education. All the other jobs pay minimum wage and have little to no benefits, which is hard on families and especially single parents.

Kids today are encouraged to set high goals and “reach for the stars”. While it’s okay to encourage them to do well, you shouldn’t set their expectations too high. It only causes them to be disappointed later in life when they don’t get their dream job and get stuck in a sucky office job with a boss who doesn’t care about you.