I’ve talked a lot about passion on this blog, and how it’s like a key to get into Haas. But sometimes, it’s not easy to understand what it means to have a passion and if it’s something you want to pursue: I’m often in that position.
Since I was small, I’ve had “multiple” passions of sorts. My first most likely started when I was in the fourth grade; I copied a picture of a Toucan from the cover of an Animal Encyclopedia that I ordered from Scholastic in grade school, and discovered that I had a knack for replicating images. I began watching anime around that time, and decided to apply my new skill to the manga covers of Naruto, Bleach, and Fullmetal Alchemist with pencil. Since then, I’ve moved on to pastel portraits, where I’ve continued to replicate the human face. It’s now been a while since I’ve drawn regularly, but I’ve dabbled a little in Adobe Photoshop. If you’re interested in some of my work, you can check out my deviantArt that is seldom updated.
Since I was pretty obsessed with art at the time, I thought it was a passion. However, other things came into my life; I had a love of music and a love of languages. Anime simultaneously linked to all three via theme music (JRock, which then moved to KPop) and speech (Japanese, which moved to Korean, which then propelled me to continue French and Chinese), and continued on into digital art. I now realize that the three are merely interests, however at the time I honestly considered them passions. You could say it was a little overwhelming.
Today, all three of those things have fallen to the wayside. Yes, I still like to draw and marvel at how similar my art looks like KPop celebrities. Yes, I still like to hear how both nice and ridiculous my voice sounds. Yes, I still like to analyze Chinese, French, Japanese, and Korean texts when I encounter on them; and no matter how much I’d like to improve in all three areas, I haven’t dedicated myself to learning them all. Because I’ve always given myself an excuse to do something else.
I guess you can say I’ve struggled in determining what can be considered as a “passion”. I want to do too many things, give myself a multitude of opportunities. While it’s a good thing, sometimes having too many chances or too many pursuits can leave one unfocused. As I have been.
I reflected upon myself and my various walks through life. My discovery? I’ve been obsessed with helping other people; everything that I do seems to stem from the benefit for others. As of this moment, pretty much all my contributions on campus have been done for the rest of the campus; I came second.
Once I came to terms with this, the rest was easy to understand. I am passionate not in a specific field, but in a particular action. Perhaps it’s cliche to say that I have a passion in making others happy. But without it, Advice from a Haas Major wouldn’t exist.
I again encourage you to seek out your passion. Perhaps it came to you earlier than me; perhaps you’ve known that dancing, singing, coding, or eating has been your dream since you were small. Perhaps you dabbled in everything. Perhaps you just don’t know what to do or where to go. Luckily, you’re in the majority.
Look about what you have been doing since this moment, and look at what you have been doing today. Now connect those things to a single idea. It doesn’t have to be in one area, perhaps it is an action like mine is. In any case, follow it. Use college as an opportunity to milk it into something uniquely you. And the rest will come.