Column: Do what you love; stop trying to ‘keep up’ with social media


Ariel Jones
Oxford Stories

We’re all familiar with the idea that money can’t buy you happiness. While we are pressured into “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and our peers in this society, it’s important to choose a career that you will enjoy, even if you don’t become rich doing it.  

Social media pressures us to appear wealthy, but you never truly know someone’s story behind the glitz and glamour lifestyle they portray in their posts.

It’s easy to envy someone’s luxury lifestyle or feel like we are missing out on life because we don’t earn a certain amount of income to support our spending habits.

Having a higher income can give you access to the finer things in life — better healthcare and nutrition, buying your dream home/car, traveling, and you can purchase anything you’d like without suffering the consequences of not having money later.

Sounds like a dream I don’t want to wake up from.

But there’s always a “catch.” Obtaining that lifestyle could mean you have longer hours at work, nonstop business trips, or you’re simply too busy for anything outside of work because you have to maintain that income.

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Mark Twain

Working twice as hard for a job you dislike will always cause more stress and anxiety, making it difficult to enjoy receiving what you worked so hard for.

Most people think spending money on themselves will make them happier. Yet, I believe taking time to donate money to charities and fundraisers will make you feel 20 times better within yourself.

With Christmas quickly approaching, we should research various shelters, charities, and fundraisers that could use our help for the holidays.

We are obsessed with social media. From the Kardashians to Rihanna, it’s easy to get caught up in their lifestyles. It becomes an issue when we try to live above our means by purchasing items we’ve seen our favorite celebrities wear because it makes us happy for the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy wearing nice things, but I also refuse to purchase expensive items I might regret buying later.

It took me a while to understand that materialistic things create temporary happiness. I could buy an adorable outfit and will feel good wearing it, but later I could still be unhappy and unsatisfied.

Goyard Fashion. 2019. Photo by Ariel Jones

Unfortunately, the world we live in revolves around money, and it shouldn’t be that way. These days, we praise and worship material things.

Everything has to be posted on social media to prove you are living a specific lifestyle, or you have to boast about the material things you have purchased for the satisfaction of attempting to be better than the next person.

Money will never buy your happiness or love. Money may be a temporary solution to bigger issues you may be currently facing, but it will never completely make your problems disappear.

“More money, more problems” – Notorious B.I.G.

My parents have always wanted me to enjoy life and not stress about building my bank account and solely focusing on my career. My happiness comes first, and that’s something everyone should also live by.

My dad has always told me “Don’t grow up too fast. There’s nothing out here but bills and stress waiting on you in the real world. Find a career you love, and the money will come later.”

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Farley Hall. 2019. Photo by Ariel Jones

I would like to become successful. But I also want to enjoy my career and not feel pressured into doing something I won’t be happy with the rest of my life.

Taking my time and understanding myself has allowed me to decide what I want to pursue as the years go on.

My major is criminal justice and minor is journalism. With this, I have decided to pursue my journalism minor with hopes of becoming a food journalist. I am in love with the thought of food and various restaurants I could critique from all over.

I want to encourage each person to figure out what they want to do with their lives. I would also encourage everyone to write down their goals and look at them every day so you don’t become discouraged.

Do what you love, and love what you do.

Ariel Jones, 23, is a senior raised in Atlanta. She is a criminal justice major with a journalism minor. Although her major deals with law enforcement, she hopes to pursue a journalism minor to become a professional food critic.

Jones has always been passionate about visiting different cities and trying the latest restaurants. She created a fun, vibrant food page on Instagram known as @Food__Flourishing where she posts foods from Toronto, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Jones has enjoyed expanding her food horizons and introducing her family/friends to a different aspect of the food world. She believes food is the way of life.

Outside of her foodie role, Jones has a deeply-rooted love for dogs. She has a beautiful, tiny 4-year old black and white Chihuahua named Coco. She enjoys volunteering and interacting at animal shelters.

She also enjoys spending time with her friends and traveling with her family. During the summer of 2019, she visited Toronto. Once she decided on a career path, it has become easier to have a lifelong plan, achieve her goals, and maintain the determination it takes to get where she would like to be in life.


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