Posts Tagged ‘positive thinking’

On Finding Passion

Wednesday, March 13th, 2024

I did not set out to write a how-to guide on “how to find your passion” because the journey of cultivating a college student’s passions amidst a whirlwind of life changes and discoveries is complicated enough. There were moments when I was asked what my passions were, and I was at a loss for words. It was not because I did not have anything I did that brought me joy, but because the act of condensing the multitude of interactions, activities, and relationships into a few words was not simple to me.

I have heard about some exciting passions in college, such as running a small clothing business or working on a radio show, and the obvious answers I would have said, such as “reading” or “baking,” feel as if they do not measure up to the high standards of people’s passions. I’ve understood that my passions or others do not define my worth or identity as a college student and creative person. There is a tendency to equate passion to activities people do in their spare time, but there is more to be said about committing to these passions and having the right mindset.

Rowing in a single with my teammates on a lovely spring morning

Beyond defining passions as the act of doing something you love, it is a state of being. Students do not need to be doing an activity to find passion or to be passionate; instead, students can focus on remaining present in the moment. Whether it is attending a club meeting or going on a walk outside, any undertaking made with intention and active choice is related to passions. The simplest and easiest way of achieving this state is by joining clubs and other groups that share similar interests. The other students you meet in these groups could lead to insights into their passions to gain inspiration or new perspectives on what you want your college life to be composed of. 

Baking with my friend for Valentine’s Day

I have also found that actively taking classes that interest me is more rewarding than taking a class for the ease of getting a good grade or filling up a major requirement. I stay more engaged in my class discussions and am eager to learn another topic that will pique my interest in other fields and activities.

During my first year, I decided to take an entrepreneurship class as an elective rather than a class to satisfy my math requirement. It was a class I took at the right time in my life, as it opened up the world of entrepreneurship for social impact and the fascinating companies people have launched. The entrepreneurship class became my favorite class from that semester because of the topics such as creating a vision, finding a venture, and understanding the vitality and viability of a project. The lessons I learned from my class became applicable to my student life and career goals, pushing me to become a better public speaker and inspiring me on career possibilities from a simple idea. I could not have developed these skills and direction by taking Calculus or any other required class. Rather than looking for classes that fit a standard mold, look for inspiring and exciting classes, and you may be surprised. 

Attending an Harvard iLab talk for my entrepreneurship class

I learned that my true drive is rooted in curiosity. Finding your “why” is the first step in recognizing your calling and taking the initial steps to attain any goal. College is a time to explore what calls to you and your interests, anything that adheres to what you are truly passionate about. It may seem daunting initially with a plethora of experiences you may want to face, but what you will eventually land on will result from understanding yourself and your student’s needs. 

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By Lecia Sun

Lecia is a student at Tufts University studying Classics and World Literature. When she is not reading, she can be found attempting the New York Times Games, trying out a new creative hobby, and dreaming about her next great bake. 

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Don’t Waste Your Time on People Who Don’t Deserve It

Friday, August 9th, 2013

In high school, I was the type of person who took on friendships as projects. I found people who were broken in some way, and I tried to piece them back together again. It never ended well. They always developed these enormous expectations, like I was supposed to focus all of my attention on them and only them, forsaking every other relationship I had just to make them feel better about themselves.

I wasted a lot of time on those people, thinking if I just gave them a little bit more of what they wanted, they would feel better and stop being so clingy. It didn’t work; it usually just made them more angry when I wasn’t available for them, to the point where they would get hostile and try to tear me down.

Looking back now, I know how unhealthy those friendships were for me, and how much damage they did in the long run. Those people were selfish, thinking they were entitled to 100% of me just because I gave them the kind of attention no one else did. But, of course, hindsight is 20/20, and I didn’t think that way at the time. Even when I did realize things were getting out of hand and tried to cut it off, we were stuck in the same high school and the same town together. They found ways to continue trying to reel me in after I had explicitly told them to back off and leave me alone.

This isn’t something that’s particularly unique to my life. We all do it in some form or another. We all waste our time on people who, in the back part of our minds we try so hard to ignore, we know don’t deserve it. People who make us feel bad about who we are and the things we want to do in life. Everyone encounters it in some form or another, mostly when you’re young and impressionable and don’t know any better yet.

College presents a unique opportunity for these situations: you can cut someone out of your life, and never really have to worry about again. I’m sure that sounds cruel and cold, but i’m not suggesting you go on a Facebook cleaning rampage of anyone who ever looked at you kind of funny. It’s just that, in my opinion, your life should be filled with people who make you feel better about yourself, and who support you fully in whatever endeavors you choose to undertake. Surrounding yourself with negativity and unpleasantness is never going to make you a happier, better person, and isn’t that sort of the bottom line in life?

I don’t like cutting people out of my life. I have given quite a few second and third chances to people, but even I have my limits. The truth of the matter is, there are some people who just don’t deserve your time and attention. There’s no point in wasting your time on people who, for lack of a better word, suck. The way I look at it is, if a relationship isn’t an improvement on my life without it, it’s not one I want to put time and effort into.

No one is entitled to you. You are a special snowflake, and the people you have in your life should think so, too.


Alex Ritter, NYU.

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