What makes us want to get up in the mornings? Why do we work so hard, or so little, or just try to make it through a day? There must be something that gives us a certain type of energy to get somewhere, to be someone, and to live our lives. Here is the first part of an article series titled: Life Answers. I'm asking questions that matter, and getting answers from CNU students for others to read, reflect on, and refer to.

Question: What are you passionate about?

Being Positive.

"Okay so this question has made me think about myself and my tendencies. I would say I am passionate about valuing the little joys in life and being positive. It could possibly be called a passion for optimism, but it's mainly just not letting the mistakes define your day. Positivity is contagious and it begins with a person choosing to look at the good side and drop the Ls. I believe being positive has a trickle down effect on the people around me which leads to many jokes and smiles. There is a lot of chaos going on around us constantly and I feel like it's important to take a second and appreciate the little things that make us happy, like friends. Thus, I guess I am passionate about being positive."

-Joseph (Ray) Ready, CNU '18

My Friends.

"I am passionate about my friends. Going to college, I was scared that I wasn't going to fit in or find my people. Having been here for two years now, I can positively say I have found them. Through Alpha Phi, volleyball, and all the sports teams I have met, I feel at home at CNU. Being able to walk around campus and always see a friendly face confirms this. CNU is my home away from home, and I couldn't be more passionate about a group of people."

-Michelle Laker, CNU '19

Love.

"Love. I am passionate about love, and sharing that love with all of those I cross paths with. In a world so divided in, a time so corrupt- love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). In the society and generation that we live in, love is defined in many different ways, by many different people. And in a way- to each their own. But the foundation of love that I am passionate about sharing with others is the love of Jesus Christ. A covenant love, rather than a consumer love. A love that expects nothing in return, and will relentlessly pursue. A love so wide, long, high and deep that it's not comprehendible entirely (Ephesians 3:18). A love that is victorious despite circumstance. A hopeful kind of love that this world so desperately needs to know. 1 John 4:19 says that 'We love because he first loved us.' Jesus Christ laid down his life so that we may live. This is a sacrificial act of love, of a perfect man dying in our place. It is steadfast; firm and unwavering. This is a characteristic of Christ that I am passionate about carrying through this world until the end of my days here."

- Mayumi Shill, CNU '17

My Family.

"To answer your question, one thing I am passionate about is my family. Growing up, I have always been extremely close with my siblings and my parents. My parents and my siblings have taught me so much, and they have given me the best life. One day I hope to emulate the way my family raised me while I raise a family of my own."

- Lexi Putney, CNU '18

Truth, Relationships, Service, and Patriot's Football.

"I'm passionate about truth, I'm passionate about relationships, I am passionate about service, and I am definitely passionate about patriot's football. But right now what really drives me is civil discourse. It's a really odd thing to say you're passionate about. Around a year ago I started volunteering with a non-profit called the Intelligencer Institute. At Intelligencer, we focus on civil discourse, very broadly speaking. It was around this same time that I was feeling very defeated with getting my point across and being heard. Consequently, it significantly brought my spirit down. What did lift my spirit back up was when I had really good conversation with friends.

In college it is really easy to get concerned with your social life. Suddenly conversations begin to be surrounded around other people, and it becomes commonplace to sit around and gossip over Sunday brunch like they did in 'Sex and the City'. That worked for those characters, but that's not what I'm into. From time to time I would be extremely lively because of a conversation I had with a friend where we disagreed, but we really understood the validity of each others side.

Even if we didn't respect their side, we could walk away knowing we wouldn't hate each other for holding different opinions. Too many times I've sat and semi-listened to what another person had to say in a class, in a social setting, on TV, etc. and actually did not like the person because we disagreed.

I realized what was really special was not when I had a conversation with a friend where we disagreed but we still liked each other, that is easy. You're supposed to get over that. What was really special was when I listened to a stranger and entertained their thought, took it seriously, made a judgment call but still respected their right to hold a different opinion and my right not to accept their opinion. That's when it matters. We don't need safe spaces, we don't need trigger warnings, what we need is civil discourse. We need to challenge ourselves so we can grow. We need to entertain thoughts without necessarily accepting them. So yes, I am passionate about civil discourse and of course patriot's football, blitz for six!"

- Christina Leary, CNU '18

My Fraternity and Academics.

"I would say that I am passionate about a lot of things that I do here on campus. I'm very passionate about my work within my fraternity, and I like to put as much time as I can into it to ensure I am doing the best job possible. I am also very passionate about my academics and I try to place my schoolwork first. My parents are helping me out a lot with paying for college, and I think that drives a lot of the passion I have towards things. I figure that I might as well get the best out of everything by putting in as much as possible, primarily because I am lucky enough to be supported by my family."

- Charles (Wyatt) Seligman, CNU '18

Public Relations.

"I am passionate about Public Relations! This summer I had a marketing internship with a bank and I got to learn the ins-and-outs of public relations and social media, and I fell in love with it! I really enjoyed working on projects and managing the different social media accounts for the company. I recently was elected as my sorority's Public Relations chair, and now manage all of our social media, and I love it! I recently launched an #IAmASororityWoman campaign to help break common stereotypes and misconceptions about Greek life. It's awesome that I can have an impact on my chapter through something I'm so passionate about!"

- Jennifer Olivero, CNU '18

Happiness Within.

"What am I passionate about? I am passionate about very few things in this world, but what I am passionate about shapes me. My main passion stems in finding true happiness in life. Many people chase grades, money, people, when in reality none of those things will truly help your happiness. When you get a good grade on a test, you're happy for a short time, then you're stressing over the next one. When you make a good amount of money, you can afford the best purse at Kohls, but what about the one in the Gucci store? The point is you'll always be chasing something higher, and you will never have time to truly be happy in your state. My passion is having happiness within myself no matter what the situation."

- Kienan Monahan, CNU '18