We hear it all the time: follow your passions or you will never be happy in what you do. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that this concept is not as easy as it may seem.
I made the decision my senior year of high school to pursue a double major in Criminology and Music with a Vocal Performance emphasis. Obviously, I did not intend for both to become my career, but I wanted to still study music because it was my passion (and because extra scholarship money doesn’t hurt).
Before the year even started, I was concerned about studying music in college. I knew I never wanted it to be my career, but people told me just to give it a try since music has been a significant part of my life for so long—but I quickly learned that my doubts were correct.
Studying music has significantly weakened my love and passion for it. Taking voice lessons and piano lessons in high school, along with coming from an amazing high school choir, is one thing, but taking classes for credit and spending hours in practice rooms to earn better grades is another.
Doing music for the sake of my GPA made me realize that some things just deserve to stay our passions. Working toward a graded goal motivates me in other topics, but music is more than just another subject to me. Music is something I love, but never something I would want as my job.
Even though Butler University does make it possible to double major, the program still treats music as if it will be your forever career. It no longer became something fun for me; it became a burden and a cause for stress rather than my relief from stress.
Criminology will now be my only major, but that doesn’t mean that I have to give up music for good. I will continue to be a part of Freshly Brewed women’s a cappella group (mostly made up of non music majors) and take voice lessons for non credit because it is something I never see my life without.
Just because I want to be a lawyer doesn’t mean that I can’t be musical, too. The implicit meaning behind “follow your passion” implies that there is only one thing you should be following and one thing that is your passion.
I’ve always had several things that I am passionate about, which only makes determining a career that much harder. Ever since I’ve arrived at Butler, I felt like studying crime with the possibility of becoming a criminal lawyer or an FBI agent was the perfect decision for me.
For those of you struggling with what to do with your future, just realize that the possibilities are actually endless. If following your favorite passion is making you feel burnt out or stressed, maybe it will be even more fulfilling to follow your interests over your passions.