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美国社会学家给毕业生的建议

2014-05-28    来源:英语点津    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Advice for college grads from two sociologists

又到毕业季了,即将踏上社会的青年们,下一步该做什么呢?下面是两位美国社会学家压箱底的建议,关于爱,家庭,友谊和生命的意义,希望你能找到答案。

1. Don't worry about making your dreams come true
College graduates are often told: "follow your passion," do "what you love," what you were "meant to do," or "make your dreams come true." Two-thirds think they're going find a job that allows them to change the world, half within five years. Yikes.
This sets young people up to fail. The truth is that the vast majority of us will not be employed in a job that is both our lifelong passion and a world-changer; that's just not the way our global economy is. So it's ok to set your sights just a tad below occupational ecstasy. Just find a job that you like. Use that job to help you have a full life with lots of good things and pleasure and helping others and stuff. A great life is pretty good, even if it's not perfect.
1. 追随梦想,不要心慌
大学毕业生们常常会听到,“追随梦想”,“做你喜欢做的事”,“让你的梦想成真”。每当这时,2/3的青年就像是打了鸡血一样,时刻准备找到工作,改变世界,不过大概其中只有一半在5年后才能做到。
这些鼓励的话常常让大家越来越感到挫败。事实是这样:我们中的大多数都不能找到一个这样的工作,既能和自己兴趣相投,也可以改变世界。这不怪我们,经济大环境就那样。所以,还是不要太张狂,能老老实实找一个比较喜欢的工作就好啦。让这个工作充实你的生活,并且乐于帮助他人。伟大的人生在于善良,无所谓完美。

2. Make friends
Americans put far too much emphasis on finding Mr. or Ms. Right and getting married. We think this will bring us happiness. In fact, however, both psychological well-being and health are more strongly related to friendship. If you have good friends, you'll be less likely to get the common cold, less likely to die from cancer, recover better from the loss of a spouse, and keep your mental acuity as you age. You'll also feel more capable of facing life's challenges, be less likely to feed depressed or commit suicide, and be happier in old age. Having happy friends increases your chance of being happy as much as an extra $145,500 a year does. So, make friends!
2. 交结朋友
美国人过于注重谈恋爱,找到理想的另一半,然后步入婚姻殿堂。我们认为婚姻会给自己带来幸福。事实上,心理和身体的健康都和友谊有着极大关联。如果你有很多好朋友,那么你患感冒和死于癌症的几率都会降低,也会更好地从失去配偶的伤痛中恢复过来,而且智力衰退将更慢。面对人生的坎坷,你会更有信心,抑郁和自杀的几率也会降低,老年生活更幸福。拥有快乐的朋友们会增加你的幸福感,这幸福感相当于你每年可以多挣145500美元的快感。所以,多交朋友。

3. Don't worry about being single
Single people, especially women, are stigmatized in our society: we're all familiar with the image of a sad, lonely woman eating ice cream with her cats in her pajamas on Saturday night. But about 45 percent of US adults aren't married and around one in seven lives alone.
This might be you. Research shows that young people's expectations about their marital status (e.g., the desire to be married by 30 and have kids by 32) have little or no relationship to what actually happens to people. So, go with the flow.
And, if you're single, you're in good company. Single people spend more time with friends, volunteer more, and are more involved in their communities than married people. Never-married and divorced women are happier, on average, than married women. So, don't buy into the myth of the miserable singleton.
3. 还是单身?不用担心
单身人士、尤其是单身女性更容易遭到社会的非议:我们都很熟悉一个场景,周六晚上,裹着睡袍的女子只有猫咪陪在身边,一脸抑郁地嚼着冰淇淋。但实际上,美国有45%成年人处于未婚状态,而且其中有1/7独自生活。
也许你也是其中一个。研究表明,年轻人对他们的婚姻规划通常如下:30岁之前结婚,32岁之前要孩子。但往往事与愿违。所以,就那样吧。
如果是单身,你可能会有更多小伙伴陪。单身可以有更多时间和朋友们呆在一起,更愿意帮助他人,更容易融入各种圈子。平均来讲,从没结婚,或者离婚的女性更加幸福。所以,不要为还是单身郁郁寡欢。

4. Don't take your ideas about gender and marriage too seriously
If you do get married, keep going with the flow. Relationship satisfaction, financial security, and happy kids are more strongly related to flexibility in the face of life's challenges than any particular way of organizing families. The most functional families are ones that can bend. So partnering with someone who thinks that one partner should support their families and the other should take responsibility for the house and children is a recipe for disaster. So is being equally rigid about non-traditional divisions of labor. It's okay to have ideas about how to organize your family but your best bet for happiness is to be flexible.
4. 不要太在意婚姻中的男女地位
如果已婚,要顺其自然学会变通。比起特定的组织家庭的方式,善于应变是夫妻和睦、收入稳定、孩子快乐的法宝。最团结的家庭是懂得变通的家庭。不要规定谁必须养家,谁必须打理家务,照看孩子,这对婚姻的伤害很大,不要被传统观念束缚。对家庭分工有想法不是件坏事,但为家庭整体幸福着想,还是应该灵活变通一些。

5. Think hard about whether to buy a house
Our current image of the American Dream revolves around homeownership, and buying a home is often taken for granted as a stage on the path to full-fledge adulthood. But the ideal of universal home ownership was born in the 1950s. It's a rather new idea.
With such a short history, it's funny that people often insist that buying a house is a fool-proof investment and the best way to secure retirement. In fact, buying a house may not be the best choice for you. The mortgage may be less than rent, but there are also taxes, insurance, and the increasingly common Home Owners Association (HOA) fees. You may someday sell the house for more than you bought it but, if you paid interest on a mortgage, you also paid far more than the sale price. You have freedom from a landlord, but may discover your HOA is just as controlling, or worse. And then there's the headache: renting relieves you from the stress of being responsible for repairs. It also offers a freedom of movement that you might cherish.
So, think carefully about whether buying or renting is a better fit for your finances, lifestyle, and future goals.
5. 买房?三思而后行
拥有自己的房子成为了如今“美国梦”的一部分,也被视作完全成人的一个标志。不过,拥有房产这件事从20世纪50年代才开始有,所以还不太成熟喔。
人们通常认为买房可以保障退休生活,这简直傻到家。事实上买房对你来说也许不是最佳选择。按揭可能比租金便宜,但不要忘了还有税费,保险费和“房产持有费”。可能有天你卖个好价钱,比买价高,不过算上按揭利息和税费也是亏了。你可以免受房东的气,但将发现你的“房产持有费”更让你喘不过气来。此外,还有个让人头疼的事情:租房可以让你免于维修的责任和压力,但买房却不能。租房还能让你自由来去。
所以,买房还是租房,先看看自己腰包、生活习惯和长远打算再说。

6. Think even harder about having kids
One father had this to say about children: "They're a huge source of joy, but they turn every other source of joy to shit." In fact, having children correlates with both an increased sense of purpose in life and a long-lasting decrease in individual and marital happiness. Having kids means spending a lot of your short life and limited income on one source of joy. You have only so much time and money and there are lots of ways to find satisfaction, pleasure, and meaning in this life. Consider all your options.
6.要孩子?三思再三思而后行
曾有一个父亲这样说到:“曾经我有很多乐子,但现在他们是我唯一的乐子,其它的就别提了。”确实,要孩子就意味着更多的责任,以及更少的单独空间和婚姻生活;也意味着把你有限的生命和有限的收入押在了唯一的乐子上。你可以用这些时间找到很多满足,找到生命的其它意义。所有,还是先看看自己目前的状况再做决定。


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