Many students do not work in the major they choose during college. This is according to Casey Phillips of the Times Press Press. Phillips cited Austin Jett as an example. Jett graduated from Appalachian State University and earned a dual degree in anthropology and Latin American studies. “You leave with an anthropology degree, and what hard skills are you leaving with that are immediately transferable?” Jett asked. “The reality is, I don’t know a lot of people who would hand you a business card that says, ‘Anthropologist.’”
The National Center for Education Statistics found that 59 percent of people who entered a four-year college or university graduated by 2015. In this time, the graduation rate was higher for women at 62 percent versus 56 percent of men. 59 percent of the graduates attended public colleges while 66 percent graduated from private colleges. Regardless of the statistics, it’s not easy to discover what your passion is in life. You might be working in a certain industry or study a certain topic like Jett and discover there are other things you want to do instead.
In other cases, you might participate in other activities outside of work. This could include experimenting with alcohol and recreational drugs. According to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, 23.5 million Americans are addicted to drugs and alcohol. You could end up at an Aetna rehabilitation because of your addiction. The world can be confusing and pull us in all sorts of directions. It might stress us out and cause us to think that drugs and alcohol are ways to cope with such confusion.
But Dr. Susan Biali, writing in Psychology Today, says we can address this confusion in other, healthier ways. She states it all begins by channeling our passions.
Biali said it’s important to pay attention to the interests you’ve had since you were a child. She believes that finding and encouraging your passion should be amazing adventures. “I do believe it’s critically important to discover and engage in things that light you up, but it’s just as important to cultivate an un-serious child-like attitude of play, wonder and adventure,” Biali stated. “When you deliberately open yourself to noticing things you might enjoy doing, don’t be afraid of getting it wrong.”
That’s the key for finding your interests. Barrie Davenport, writing Live Bold and Bloom, said you need to ask yourself some questions to fully understand your passions. In Davenport’s words, these questions are
- What motivates you?
- What inspires you?
- What excites you?
- What engages you?
- What scares you and holds you back?
- What do you do well naturally?
- What do you pretend to like but really don’t?
- What lies are you living?
Davenport says that asking these questions can help you determine your priorities at different periods of your life. During one period, you might begin abusing drugs or alcohol and require help from an Aetna rehabilitation or other care. Substance abuse can divert us from our true passions, but according to Biali and Davenport, we can find our interests by using reflection.
This reflection allows us to think about what makes us happy. It helps us picture ourselves and our lives in the present and in the future. It helps us find ways to achieve these goals.
As you begin to ask yourself those questions and reflect upon the direction of your life, try to pick the passions that will make you the happiest. Take advantage of what can make you happy and see how different your life can become.
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery, and the entertainment industry.