Over my four years, I have found that there is a natural gravitation towards people who are passionate about their field of study and genuine in their endeavors. Genuine has become more and more of a topic for me this past semester. It is interesting to think that there are more genuinely bad people than good. There is a social benefit to faking good than for faking bad, resulting in the idea that if someone is bad, they are probably genuinely bad. Conversely, if someone is good, there is a larger chance that they may not be genuine in their thoughts or actions. Passion and raw dedication are traits that cannot be taught. My personal advice to freshmen or even high school seniors is to do things that you are passionate about. Find it! This does not have to be something that you have done all your life or what people have told you that you are good at. Be a little bit selfish and do what makes you most happy. While it may be difficult to determine what is a career move and what is a hobby, you won’t know until you do it. Leave it all out on the table.
I recently heard a talk by a professor to recent graduates about their plans for the coming years. His message: while we come from a prestigious university, one that many would do anything to attend, statistically we will not be much happier than the average person. And this should not be the case. For our investment in our future and education, it is our duty to make a difference in this world through our passions. Thus, his advice was to quit and quit often. Quit not because the work is difficult, but because it is not right for you. With the limited time we have, how can we waste time doing something we do not completely enjoy. Gradually, things begin to fall into place and we are at the perfect point in our lives to experiment, fail, and try new things. This resonated with me especially as graduation is on the horizon and the job market becoming all the more real. So I challenge you to ask yourself the hard questions. Is this what I want to do? It is easy to slip into the mindset that you have plenty of time, or you don’t need to consider this quite yet, but if not now then when? Other things always come up unexpectedly. Take charge, and find something you love, the sooner, the better!