The Problem with Passion

Source: Andrew Bellay

By Jessica Laverriere

Going through college, one thing is always brought up: finding your passion. When looking for a major you are asked countless times what you are passionate about. Do you love teaching? Choose English, math, or history. Do you love numbers? Choose finance or applied statistics. Everything in your life seems to be revolved around the idea of passion. For me, the word “passion” always held so much weight. I felt I had to have some epiphany and then I would know. Obviously, there are many things I like, and even love, to do. However, I could never figure out if any of them could count as a “passion.’ I hated when people asked me what I was passionate about because I didn’t know. Actually, I still don’t think I know.

I chose my major without knowing what my end-all-be-all passion is. I decided which clubs I would involve myself with, and I decided which classes to take. I’m happy with my major, I love my clubs, and I enjoy my classes. People talk about how knowing your passion is the first step to discovering yourself, but I think it could be one of the last steps, I think self-discovery is the long road and passion may be your destination. Don’t get me wrong, I think some people have found their passion, and I am happy for them. It’s a rare thing to find it so young. If you have, you use those passions to lead to further self-discovery and new destinations. Self-discovery is a never-ending process whether you know your passion or not.

What I have come to understand and what I hope I can pass on to whoever is reading this is that it’s okay not to know. It is okay to have likes and loves and not-quite-passions. You can make decisions and move on and be you without having an answer. Sometimes you feel like you can’t make decisions and that’s okay too. There is nothing wrong with being exploratory in your major. There is nothing wrong with signing up for fifteen clubs in order to pick six you really like. Some people find their passion at sixteen and some people find it at sixty.

Nobody can make you find your passion. They can’t hold your hand and bring you to a classroom and say, “You’re passionate about teaching.” It doesn’t work that way. People can provide you with opportunities and experiences. Bryant gives you over one hundred clubs to try and a countless number of classes, yet Bryant can’t pick which ones you’re passionate about. All you can do is try everything that sounds interesting. Take risks. Join the club you never thought you would and then don’t be afraid to decide it’s not for you. And most importantly, stop comparing yourself to people that already know their passions. Your passion is already inside you and one day you’ll join the right club or take the right class and it’ll make sense. Until then, don’t stress about seeking out your passion because you will find it when the time is right, I promise.