Find your own passion, follow it
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Throughout elementary school, I defined myself as a competitive swimmer because my parents wanted me to play a sport. In middle school, I joined the Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra (PVYO) because my parents wanted me to play my clarinet in a group setting. When I started high school, however, I was determined to find a new passion on my own.
I made the last-minute decision to take Journalism I freshman year, even though I considered myself more of a math and science student than an avid writer. Looking back, I am extremely happy with my decision. Not only did I learn a lot about journalism and have a fabulous experience on the The Lion’s Tale staff, but I also discovered a passion that I otherwise would not have come across.
I think that as an elementary or a middle school student, it can be hard to find activities that you are truly passionate about for your own reasons, and not for those of your parents. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but frankly, parents often sign their children up for activities before they are even old enough to make choices for themselves. Sometimes that can be great, and students may stick with the activity that they’ve been doing since they were four years old. For me, it was hard to stick with swimming because deep down I never felt 100 percent invested in it, and although I continued to play in PVYO through the end of this semester, I never fell in love with that either.
This is why I saw high school as an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. During my time on The Lion’s Tale, I learned how to write articles, design spreads and manage a staff. I spent 200 hours working at production after school over the past two years, and countless more working from my bed at home. More importantly though, I learned how to manage responsibility and how to serve my school community. I also learned how to take pride in my work and that when I follow my own passions, I get so much more joy out of my activities.
But my column is not a plug to join The Lion’s Tale staff or even to take journalism. I want you to know that because high school can often be very stressful academically, it’s important to balance out your stress by finding a passion that you truly enjoy and to which you can commit yourself. I promise it will make all the difference.