As children, we all grew up with a favorite hobby or activity and kept up with them as we got older. Whatever these hobbies and activities were turned into the things we turned to when we needed a break from all the drama of school and work. These were the things that turned into passions that we live to do and talk about. These are the passions that we wish we could turn into futures.
Well, I'm going to assume that quite a few of us feel that way.
Thought, not everyone is lucky enough to find their passions during their childhood. For others, such passion takes a little longer to develop. But the time that this occurs is not as relevant as the fact that you find something you absolutely adore doing. It is more important that you find something that you love and enjoy, something that motivates you, raises your spirits, and encourages you to learn more.
So, you should go out there and explore everything the world has to offer! There are thousands of things, each more different than the last, that you could be interested in. The things that make your heart race, increase your need for knowledge, or simply make you overjoyed should be things that you pursue. These are activities and hobbies that influence your life from the minute you find them.
Not all passions are created equal.
A majority of the passions we find ourselves in are artistic and creative in nature and not truly suitable for a future job. When brought up to our parents, they are turned down, usually with the phrase "But, can you get a job with that major?" or "How successful are you going to be in a field like that?" Our passions end up being something that we look forward to doing, not forever, but for the time being. However, the opinions of others (even if they are your parents) should never get in the way of you chasing your dreams. If your passion is truly the field and career you would like to pursue, then I say go for it!
My parents said, "While I encourage you to look into computer science, it's not something we're going to push you to do. You can major in whatever, as long as you enjoy doing it and can provide for yourself."
That is the advice that my parents gave me as I entered my junior year of high school, the year most significant to the college application process other than the actual application itself. Before all of that and my entrance into Rutgers, I was just a student within my high school's animal and botanical sciences program looking to study environmental science. But, after much thinking about how I generally do not like bugs and dirt, I listened to my parents' advice and started looking into computer science.
By my senior year and the time when applications roll around, I had decided that computer science was something I was truly interested in! I found coding and everything that came with it to be fascinating to learn, and I looked forward to every AP Computer Science class I got to attend. Looking at the jobs and career fields related to these studies only encouraged me more. At the end of the year, I had already decided that I would like to work an exciting government job in cybersecurity (impressive, I know).
Now fast forward to now, I'm a full-time student at Rutgers and I am no longer interested in computer science. Although, to be fair, I am less interested in the mathematical aspects and courses that come along with everything else. I am currently looking to major in Information Technology and Informatics, with minors in Critical Intelligence Studies and Linguistics. It was a small change, but simultaneously a significant one. While my goal is relatively similar to what it was before, not everything is the same.
The passions and skills that I have developed in my short time at Rutgers have changed some things. I am no longer as interested in coding as I used to be, but rather the analytical aspects of cybersecurity; I would rather be active in my job, constantly interacting with people as opposed to just sitting at a desk as my 9-5.
Those same passions that you found at whatever point in your life, are not static.
They are, for a fact, going to change. And that is completely OK. College is the time for you to discover what makes you tick, the things that push you to be at your very best at all times rather than a fraction of that.
Here at Rutgers, you have the opportunity to explore hundreds of majors and minors, making the combinations and possibilities endless. You have the ability to customize your courses and activities to pursue a specific path, as well. Everything that you do from the moment you step on campus will impact your future. It is simply up to you to figure out what it is exactly you want to do.
Even then, while your passions may not be your future, that does not mean you have to completely disregard them.
You still have the ability to keep them within your life through extracurriculars and free time. Never, at any point in your life, should you being willing to settle for anything less than something you are passionate about even as they change over time.