Pursuing your passion The DOs and DON’Ts

Oftentimes we tend to find ourselves flummoxed when we cannot find the intersection between our diverse interests or when we do not know what interests us to begin with. Finding one’s passion let alone pursuing it is a challenging task. This article will hopefully help you navigate the ocean of confusion you might find yourself flailing in and will help give you a new perspective that can make the process of self-discovery easier. 

#1 DO SEVERAL CHALLENGING COURSES

An alternative to meeting counsellors and spending money on psychometric tests to determine your passion would be to take up challenging yet diverse courses. This will essentially help you ‘weed out’ subjects that do not intellectually stimulate you. The best time to do this would be in high-school and freshman year of undergrad at university before you conclusively declare a major. Taking courses from philosophy to art and from neuroscience to mathematics, will help you determine what is best for you. By taking challenging courses to engage yourself intellectually, you will not only be able to find a passion, but you will also realize if you’re willing to devote yourself to that passion even when the difficulty level of it surpasses expectations. This will concretize your commitment to that passion which is why it is a better option than psychometric tests. 

#2 DON’T PRESSURIZE YOURSELF OR LET OTHERS PRESSURIZE YOU

There are several extraneous variables that affect our decision making in life. However, when it comes to something as crucial as one’s career or future endeavours, eliminating or avoiding these variables is paramount. For instance, parental pressure is not uncommon in the modern world. You’ve probably heard your friend complain about his/her parents forcing him/her to become a doctor or a lawyer when she/he wants to become, say, an artist or a writer because of the flair they have for it. Unfortunately, this is the case for several students globally. Other variables could be people demeaning you by claiming that you’re not competent enough to pursue something you’re passionate about. Furthermore, you might set unrealistic expectations for yourself and not fulfilling that goal will deteriorate your mental health. Keeping all these variables at bay will make your educational journey easier to traverse. 

#3 MAKE CONNECTIONS

After identifying your passion, you must immediately connect with people in that respective field- Be it a professor or even a senior at college. Doing so, will give you several opportunities and learning experiences like writing research papers with professors or gaining insight into university classes you intend to take or might even land you an internship in the field you are pursuing. LinkedIn is an excellent platform to use in order to connect with students, employers and individuals who dedicate their life to academia. Furthermore, pursuing job opportunities to gain hands on experience will concretize whether the field is right for you or not. All too often we excel at theoretical material but transcending mere textbooks becomes the real challenge. This is why making connections globally is pivotal.

#4 DON’T PURSUE A PASSION BASED ON SUPERFICIAL CHARACTERISTICS

Choosing a passion for the right reasons is the key to success. We tend to associate an education with a job and a job with money. This consumerist approach to education and materialistic way of life will not take you very far. Therefore, finding a passion for the right reason is paramount. The right reason should be that the passion stimulates you, drives you, and is something you believe gives your life purpose. Choosing a career path because of materialistic reasons like annual salary etc. is the biggest mistake one can make. Doing what is right for you and you only will determine how you traverse your journey to success in the long run and will also determine your contentment and happiness in life. 

About the Author: 

Tanishka Khanduja is a senior at Oberoi International School (OIS) and has successfully applied to several universities for her undergraduate education. She intends to major in Neuroscience with a minor in Creative Writing while pursuing a pre-medical track. At OIS, she is a writer for an organization called Psych(ed) which aims to destigmatize mental illnesses and is the founder of an organization called Exsurgo that helps impoverished children attend school.

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