College is always a time full of change. From what I’ve heard, I would guess that about 99 percent of college students change their mind about what they want to do or study during their four years. Personally I’ve changed my mind about what I want to pursue as a career about seven times since I began looking at colleges while I was in high school. Currently I’m at a crossroads and have lost sight of what I’m working towards as a student, employee and in general as someone in the pursuit of happiness.
Passion is something that plays an important role in my life. It first came about when I was job shadowing a chemical engineer at Eli Lilly and Company during my junior year of high school. At the time, I thought that was what I wanted to because I like math and chemistry and I was an above average student. I didn’t learn anything about what he does, or what chemical engineering majors do in general, but I walked out of there at the end of the day with something more important than I could’ve ever hoped for.
During the time I spent with him, he told me about passion. The things that he loves to do, what he gets out of bed every day for and why he love coming to work. He talked about leadership, giving back to the community and inspiring young minds to attend college and find their passions. He told me, that when choosing a career path to consider three things and weigh them equally. Abilities, passions and economic model.
Your career needs to be something you excel at. Sales wouldn’t be a good career choice for someone that is introverted and has poor communication skills, just like engineering is great for people that are problem solvers. The next thing to take into consideration is the economic model. Choose a career with a salary that is enough to provide for yourself, your family and enable you to do things you enjoy. Running and reading are much cheaper hobbies than wine tasting and travelling the world. The last, and most important to me personally, is passion. Most people don’t think about passions the way that I do after my job shadowing. A passion is something that you love to do, something that is a ‘get to’ not a ‘have to.’ It’s something that brings out your best, brings you happiness and most of all inspires you.
During your four years here, set a goal for yourself to find your passions and pursue them. I love writing and reading literature, kayaking, biking, lifting weights and being with people that bring out the best in me. Not many of those things are legitimate careers, except for writing, and even writing is difficult to get started in. I write this column because I love writing and I think that everyone should be able to do what they love. If you love math or chemistry, then it’s easy to do what you love. On the other hand, Hikaru dorodango and competitive dog grooming may be slightly more difficult to really spend time doing or make a career out of, especially for a college student.
I’ve always heard from teachers and parents, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’ve done my best, so far, to find something that I love, because who wants to work for the rest of their life? Whatever your passions may be, find time for them and let them inspire you.
Brian Eckert is a first-year finance and economics double major.