How to Find Your Passion

It can be hard to wake up for classes every day and study for exams if you aren’t sure they’re leading you to where you want to be. And believe me, I know it’s terrifying to worry about whether or not you’re in the right major, thinking things like, “Will I be able to get a job in my field? What if I end up hating it? What if I’m overlooking the job I’m meant for? How can I succeed if I’m not even learning the right stuff? I’m going to fail at life. Where’s a corner? I’ll just curl up and give up now.”

Stop that. You’re going to be fine. You’re already fine!

I have some suggestions to help you find your passion/niche/métier. Leo Babauta wrote a brilliant, in-depth guide on the topic and if you have time (he suggests taking at least half an hour for some of the steps) you should definitely follow it. You could also head over to the Center for Career Opportunities (Young Hall, room 132) and take a personality assessment to see whether your character seems to match your major.

But to get you started, here are some probing questions to ask yourself:

-What are you good at?
-What do you read about? Where does your mind wander?
-What has been your favorite project to work on for school? Any group projects?
-Think of yourself five years ago. What skills have you developed since then? In what areas are you more confident and competent?
-Think of the last time somebody told you you’re good at something. What was it?
-Do you keep a journal? If you do, look through it for inspiration.
-What was your favorite toy as a kid? Why? What did you love to do in your free time? Do you still love it?
-What are your current obsessions? What can’t you get enough of?
-What inspires you?
-What makes you feel like yourself?

Additional awesome points if your passion includes elements of danger.
Additional awesome points if your passion includes elements of danger.

Of course, the best way to find what you love is to try as many things as you can. College is probably the best time for this, with such various organizations and students on campus; clubs are holding callouts right and left. Although it’s perfectly understandable to attend as many as you can (free pizza! Woo hoo!), try stickling with one or two for longer than the callout.

You could explore a new area every week without exhausting the possibilities, but you should spend adequate time in each area. Talk to experts in different fields; learn as much as you can about why they love their work and what it entails. When you’re ready, try things for yourself. You may not like everything you try, or be very good at it, but as J.K. Rowling said, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.”

So get out there and start discovering your passion! Who knows what you’ll find?

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