I’m Going To School For Business, But My Real Passion Is In Writing

I’m Going To School For Business, But My Real Passion Is In Writing

Should we give people tough love, or encourage them to follow their dreams?


I wake up at 6:30 A.M. I go to my classes from 8 AM-4:45 PM. I do my work in any time I have free. Then I head back to my room and switch on my laptop. But I don't sign on to Netflix or Hulu, instead I sign into my google docs. I click on my writing folder, turn on my Facetious Poet playlist, and let the inspiration flow.

I'm going to school for Business so that I can be an Actuary, but my real passion is in writing. I recently submitted some of my writing into the Button Poetry chapbook contest, and after I submitted it, I sat there feeling empty. What am I supposed to do now? Sure, I have homework, but all I want to do is write. I set aside this urgent emptiness, and begin to work on my tedious math homework.

Growing up, I always had certain beliefs sternly whispered into my ear. One of these would certainly stand out to me, and impact me for the rest of my life: "Don't make a career out of a hobby. Don't try to have a career in the arts, keep it as a side thing."

This seemed to be a resounding comment from everyone: teachers, friends, family. I heeded this, not seeing any flaw in the reasoning, and kept going down the STEM career path. But this is me now, telling you the truth of the matter.

I love math and science but have struggled with both at times. But writing? That always came naturally to me, and it was something that made me happy. But I have known too many people who pursued a career in the arts that now label themselves as a "sad, starving artist". I resolved to myself, and others around me, that that wouldn't be me. I would keep my passion on the side, only indulging myself in it when I was finished with what had to be done.

But now, as a (somewhat) independent college student, in a time of my life where I am able to really have my own opinions and decide what my fundamental beliefs are, I have realized that this is bull****.

This thinking is a clipping of the wings. It may not even be intentional, but it is definitely a societal standard created to deter you from standing out from the crowd. I'm not saying this in a conspiracy-theory way, but I definitely believe that people will try to hold you back, just so you won't be better than them, or rock the boat. Yes, I am still working to be an actuary, but I am also working really hard to try and become successful in my writing.

I know the people who say these things are doing it mainly out of concern. I have a loved one in my life who believes they'll make a career in rapping/making beats. I don't see this as a real feasible goal, but who am I to say that? Others might see my dream to be a successful writer in the same way, so how can I tell someone that their dream is like that? I think everyone needs tough love from time-to-time. But if you keep repeating the same discouraging phrases to someone, it becomes detrimental to the person's confidence.

I don't think there is really a right answer to this debacle between choosing a career in STEM or in the arts. But this is me, telling myself, and you, to choose your own path. Follow your dreams or don't, but don't try to stop others from chasing theirs. If you want a backup plan, that's fine. You can express concern for someone, but don't tell them they don't have the ability to succeed at something they love. We need to let go of this societal standard to be successful in a way that gives immediate satisfaction/immediate results. And if you doubt it, think about the great arts of the world. What would the world be like without Beethoven? Or Martin Luther King Jr.? Or Shakespeare? Or van Gogh? Our world would not be the way it is now, and who are we to decide that we know what will or won't impact our international culture?

Maybe it's time to let go of our expectations, and let people do what they want.

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.

When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try out or audition to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

At a basketball tryout, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential castmember will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little payoff for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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Phoenix's Largest Electricity Provider Anticipates A Price Decrease For Customers

Yes, you read that right, a decrease.


Bills are never exciting to receive, and Salt River Project, Phoenix's largest supplier of power and water, knows that. In hopes of giving back to its customers, this not-for-profit company is proposing a lower billing price to its elected board of directors.

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According to Salt River Project Media Manager Scott Harelson, SPR is planning a price decrease of 2.2 percent on the overall average annual amount. The plan was first created over a month ago, and if it's approved, the new utility prices will appear in the May 2019 billing cycle.

"We have been able to save a lot of money with our fuel expenses, and we pass those savings on directly to our customers," Harelson said, but how else is a not-for-profit company able to decrease prices? SPR's website has the answers:

"According to SRP General Manager and CEO Mike Hummel, SRP has been able to keep prices stable for the past four years through prudent operations and management, strategic resource acquisitions and taking advantage of market conditions that have allowed SRP to generate a greater share of energy using lower-cost natural gas."

SPR serves more than 1 million customers, and customer growth will continue to benefit prices and plan options. You can find more details on this good news on SRP's website.

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