If you've ever scored a game-winning goal or home run, you've definitely dreamed of going pro. But traveling, training, and injuries make this dream job tough to stick out.
Watching professional athletes, we only see the glamorous side: the game-winning goals, celebration dances, endless sponsorships, and team bonding. While the job can come with fame and fortune at its top levels, it also comes with an enormous amount of pressure and public scrutiny.
First, you have to beat thousands of similarly talented athletes for just a few coveted spots.
You dedicate your life to conditioning your body, while also knowing that one small injury could ruin your career. This battle is both physical and mental, and many athletes struggle with their mental health as a result.
US Alpine skier Tim Jitloff told the Deseret News that some of his fellow athletes have worked with mental trainers to help them handle the pressure.
"There have been at least three points in my career where I was going to hang it up," he said of his own experience. "At the low points, there have certainly been times where it is hard emotionally and mentally to be feeling not that great about yourself."
A life spent exploring space would be a dream come true. But astronauts experience physical and mental side effects that could stay with them for the rest of their lives.
While there is no doubt about the importance of astronauts' work, they sacrifice their long-term health for their missions. For example, low gravity can accelerate osteoporosis, and after a year in space, astronaut Scott Kelly didn't perform as well as his twin brother on cognitive tests.
Even in the short term, astronauts battle a variety of obstacles for the sake of science. In low gravity, your inner ear isn't working as well and is unable to match with the spatial information of your eyes, causing motion sickness. Alongside feeling dizzy and uneasy, living in confined and isolating quarters with limited food options for long periods of time can start to wear you down.
Working on a luxury yacht seems like the perfect way to get paid to travel the world. Unfortunately, the living conditions can be one-star and the hours are long.
Anyone with wanderlust has probably thought about working on a luxury yacht. It seems like the perfect chance to make money and visit the world's dreamiest spots while traveling in luxe style.
wanderlust[ˈwɑːndərlʌst]: n. 旅行癖
While days off can be fun, the job itself is intense. Business Insider spoke with superyacht crew members who revealed they usually wake up before dawn and stay up through the middle of the night.
One crew member said he faces "very, very long days with little rest and expectations to perform at the highest levels of service while not losing your cool under pressure."
Plus, guests come on the boat with endless demands. Another yacht crew member described her day: "Food and beverage service three times a day. A lot of plans and schedules change on the fly depending on the owners and their wants and whims, which can be a bit frustrating."
If you ever watched "Project Runway," you probably dreamed of becoming a fashion designer, but the fashion industry can be a tough one to crack.
Debuting your own fashion line at Fashion Week is a goal of every aspiring designer. Unfortunately, achieving big success is extremely rare, and most designers spend years living paycheck to paycheck while working long hours to finish the collection.
living paycheck to paycheck: 靠薪水生存
The reality is that competition is fierce and you need to be able to handle constant criticism. While making it big promises a highly respected, lucrative career, designers who don't get recognized must continue to struggle to keep their dreams alive on little money and support.
Traveling the world to photograph nature may sound amazing, but the reality of being a wildlife photographer is not as whimsical as it seems.
Any aspiring photographer has probably spent hours scrolling and flipping through National Geographic's photos, daydreaming of when they will also be crouching in the wild waiting for that perfect shot. But the road there is treacherous.
Photographers usually purchase their own (expensive) equipment. Wildlife photography is a very specialized and limited field, and the market is competitive.
If you do land a job as a wildlife photographer, you sometimes put your life at risk. Photographers trek through unknown areas of the world and risk animal attacks, disease, and injury to capture a photo.
Plus, you need a tremendous amount of patience. Award-winning wildlife photographer Richard Peters told Afar that he has had to "burrow in a forest ... for 10 hours at a time, two days in a row, and wait for a lynx that never reveals itself."
And if this scenario still seems dreamy to you, he reminds aspiring photographers that he usually spends the majority of his time editing photos on the computer, not traveling the world.