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How to find your passion

How to find your passion
October 30, 2019 No Comments » Uncategorized mgencheva

Finding your passion isn’t a simple task. You can’t just sit down, think through all your options and out pops the answer. A passion is just that. A skill, hobby, or talent you want to develop for its own sake, because you enjoy it. In-fact, your passion finds you most of the time, and all that is needed from you is to keep an open mind and be ready.
You can’t will it to come to you. You could find your passion today or tomorrow. Or you could be waiting years or decades for it to come to you.
Colleges look for grades, they look for extracurriculars, but most of all, they look for passion.

Colleges look for grades, they look for extracurriculars, but most of all, they look for passion.

face of a young boy ready for college
 Finding your passion early gives you the whole rest of your life to enjoy it.

So, passion is important. Finding one early gives you the whole rest of your life to enjoy it. Personal enjoyment is just the start of it as well. A passion can turn into a career, can lead you to exciting new experiences or people. It can give you that edge needed to get into that college you’ve always dreamed of going to.
For many, the deep interest in a topic starts as early as kindergarten. If you examine your play as a child, you will find that most of the time, the game of building cars, or making robots using LEGO pieces, being a doctor or a nurse, all that is not by chance. The young child that uses the power of their imagination, mixed with mirroring the world around them expresses their natural proclivities early on.
That one activity that makes you happy, makes the time disappear, gives you a mental and spiritual recharge is your passion. It could be as simple as loving streetwear fashion and mixing outfits, or reading about diets and nutrition, or wondering about every little particle that makes your reality. It could be about any topic, anything at all. Often I have

child playing piano
 Your passion could be about any topic, anything at all.

students come to me saying that they really love to paint, but this can’t be their passion because it is not something they can actually have as a profession and make money out of it. This is a sign of mixed messages the students have received from society, school, and home. Sure, every passion and talent can be utilized and connected to a subject and profession but you have to be patient with yourself, you have to be willing to nurture it and explore within.

Having a passion makes it easy to demonstrate commitment that many college admissions boards look for. Finding yours early, during your Sophomore year, and being able to show that you’ve applied yourself, made a conscious effort to develop skills and kept at it is something everyone looks for when they are admitting college students.

Having a passion makes it easy to demonstrate commitment that many college admissions boards look for.

asian girl reading newspaper
 Pick a national newspaper and read it cover to cover.

Finding your passion can be hard. But there are a few things you can do to make it easier.
1. Stay Current on Social Issues
For one week, pick a national newspaper and read it cover to cover. You don’t have to read through everything in detail, but skim, at least, every article. Mark ones which you found interesting. Once the week is finished, see if there is any link between all the articles you marked. Is there a common theme or trend? That is something you might want to explore more.
2. Challenge Yourself With an Online Course
You’ve found a topic you might be interested in. It could be something like the environment or law. Now is your chance to explore that in more depth and see if it is something that really grabs you. The internet allows us all access to lots of resources. There are many free online courses you can take to learn more about a subject you are interested in.

boy reading from a computer
 Challenge Yourself With an Online Course

Sites like khanacademy.org or EdX.org, and futurelearn.com all offer free courses across many different subjects. A Google search can also point you in the right direction. Now, I bet you this is something you have already considered, but how about taking a course on a subject you didn’t think you want to know more about, and you simply dabble in to explore. You never know what might come out of a random study of a subject you don’t know much about.

Girl discussing a topic she is passionate about
 Most professionals like speaking to enthusiastic young people interested in their field.

3. Use the Adults Around You as a Resource
If a particular topic still intrigues you after taking an online course, the next step to take is to go out and talk about it with people. Not just anyone, though. You should search out professionals in that field. Ask them about things you want to know more about but aren’t discussed in the online courses. What is the personal experience of, let’s say, being a lawyer actually like? What are the best bits about it? And the worse?
It’s not hard to find people to talk to. Most professionals like speaking to enthusiastic young people interested in their field. The worst they can say is no. Your parents’ friends and your friends’ parents are good places to start. But it is also worth reaching out to local businesses and teachers.
Note down what you learn after each interview. It’ll help you keep your thoughts in order and the notes will aid your memory.
An added bonus is that these interviews could lead to an internship in the future or over the summer.
A high schooler I worked with at VoicED was a good student with a strong academic record, though she was not valedictorian. She didn’t score extremely highly on her SATs either, only 1380. She had a few extracurriculars, but nothing that lasted throughout her high school career. Apart from writing for the school newspaper.

A red balloon in the shape of a heart against the white clouds
 By thinking about, talking about, learning about things you find interesting, you can search out your passion.

This was her passion. She impressed her interviewer at Harvard, and this led them to overlooking her weak academic record or other factors. They were taken by her passion. Speaking to the admissions officer afterwards, they said that this was the big reason she got admitted.
Grades and extracurriculars are needed to mark a student as a candidate for a prestigious university. But with thousands of students applying with the same records, with the same emphasis on clubs and societies, it will be your passion that marks you as exceptional.
By thinking about, talking about, learning about things you find interesting, you can search out your passion. Not only will this help when applying to colleges, it will also give you a love for something that you can develop and continue for the rest of your life. It’s well worth it.

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