Pick your Passions Carefully

Surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly) the first week of winter quarter was overwhelming to say the least. After living at home for six weeks and working a 9-5 job with a comfortable routine, returning to Athens with a hectic schedule and skating season in full swing was a kind of shock. My stress even surprised me, as usually I’m dying to get back to Athens and school.

Anyway, there were quite a few things that really stressed me out this week, and it really got me to thinking about where my passions lie. I know I’m one of a fortunate few that have been able to identify and dedicate my life thus far to the things that I am passionate about. But after venting to my dad about my frustrations a few days ago he brought up a good point: what you are passionate about can change over time. 

Ok, maybe you’re thinking: doesn’t everyone know this? But I have always lived in the school of thought that I would feel strongly about my current passions forever. But I have begun to realize that maybe that’s changing.

I’ve started to accept that my role within this specific thing may need to change at the end of this year, and was feeling extremely guilty about it, but my dad also pointed out to me that I cannot feel guilty about this. I cannot personally, nor allow anyone else to discredit my contribution over the past four years. I have dedicated a lot of time to something that should realistically only take up 1-2 hours per week. It’s true that what you once wanted to dedicate your life to may not instill the same enjoyment anymore. And that’s absolutely ok. Change is ok!

The moral of the story?

1. Don’t become one of the people you complain about. I listen to people complain and complain about their commitments all the time. The problem with this? 99.9 percent of the time they have chosen the commitment, knowing what it required of them from the beginning.

What does this mean?:

2. You set your own priorities. YOU do! Yes, I know there are exceptions like ‘school comes first’ but ultimately, you must choose to surround yourself with things (and people) who make you feel happy and fulfilled.

Now you might be thinking, ‘How does this relate to public administration?’ Well, I really think the PA field is unique in that there are so many different jobs or adventures you can take with an MPA. Government, non-profit, politics, the applications really are endless.

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