I appreciate the idealistic thoughts of the those who have commented. However, coming from a more realistic perspective, I believe achieving achieving our idea of ‘The American Dream’ be difficult for our generation. I don’t think our school systems are preparing students today with the skills they will need in the future of our technology driven society. The cost of undergraduate education continues to soar while advanced degrees become more commonly required for jobs. Broadly, domestic jobs continue to be outsourced to other countries. We are seeing a slow recovering economy and its’ effects on opportunity in all sectors.
As a sociology student going into my senior year of college, I realize the American Dream to be a myth. Wealth and power are often handed off from one generation to the next. So often opportunity is already reserved for an elite few, and disproportionate disadvantages exists for the many. I think some commenters above should research the term ‘meritocracy’.
Though I don’t buy into the idea of the American Dream, I do believe success is how you define it. I may not achieve the American Dream by achieving marked social mobility. I may not climb the corporate ladder into an executive job, go on extravagant vacations one day, or maybe even ever be a homeowner. But I WILL strive to carve a career and life that is meaningful and fulfilling to me. The salary, power and mobility is not so important. I choose to go by the motto ‘do what you love’ and hope the rest will take care of itself.