Finding Your Passion
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Finding Your Passion

The only way to be truly satisfied in life is to love what you do.

Finding Your Passion
Caroline O'Brien

With all the new technology and social media in the world, teenagers are called lazy. People, parents especially, expect us to just sit at home on our phones all day until they yell at us to get a job. This is the problem.

In my opinion, there is nothing more beautiful than passion. Parents need to stop expecting and start encouraging. Urge your children to do something they love. Force them to try and if they hate it, point them in another direction. Everyone has a passion and our teenage years are for figuring out what that is exactly.

I work at camp A.N.C.H.O.R. (answering the needs of handicapped citizens through organized recreation). ANCHOR is made up of hundreds of volunteers, staff and, most importantly, campers. The children and adults that attend ANCHOR as campers, are part of the mentally or physically disabled population.

My mom took me to ANCHOR kicking and screaming my first year. I was extremely reluctant to take part in a program like this. I assumed that it would be too much responsibility. I assumed it would take my summer away from me. I assumed I would be alone without my friends. I assumed I would hate it.

What I never saw coming, was the love. The intense, overbearing passion I felt every time I set foot into camp. ANCHOR taught me how to be responsible. ANCHOR didn't take my summer, it made my summer. ANCHOR didn't isolate me from my friends, it introduced me to them. I wound up NOT hating ANCHOR, instead I fell in love with it.

There are days that I don't want to wake up at 7:30 a.m. when missing a day doesn't seem to outweigh sleeping in. On those days, I push myself out of bed. I get ready despite my internal dispute. I force myself onto the bus, and I go to camp. When I arrive I'm greeted by smiles, hugs, laughter and more love than one person can fathom.

I've never been more grateful for anything than I am for this program. The friends and memories I've made over the course of five seasons is incredible. There aren't many jobs that make you want to go the next day, and it's safe to say ANCHOR falls among that minority. Because of this place, I've shifted my career choice to behavioral therapy and observations. ANCHOR has taught me that love has no boundaries and shown me the amazing feeling of being needed and wanted at the same time.

I've been given the chance to work with teenagers with Down Syndrome, 50-year-olds with autism, children with CP, and everything in between. Some of the greatest stories I'll ever be lucky enough to tell come from ANCHOR. The children and adults that I'm so unbelievably blessed to work with are some of the most interesting people I've ever met. A young girl I met my third season told me that she was the valedictorian of her sixth grade class (I wasn't even aware that was a thing). One of the men I reported to this summer, my staff, was in a band that went on the Warped Tour years ago. That same man was a group leader in 2006 and had a volunteer in his group whom he later married. They just had their first child. One of my campers my very first season was 18 with Downs and was captain of his high school football team. ANCHOR has introduced me to the most remarkable people I've ever met.

I only hope that all teenagers my age find something as amazing to dive into as I did. With that in mind, I will say that it's not easy. You have to try. You have to try new things, try old things that you've failed at or try things you normally hate to find what you love. But once you do, it's worth every second.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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