College time to find passion, explore options
Published: Monday, May 7, 2012
Updated: Monday, May 7, 2012 17:05
In my four years writing for The Review, I’ve met some fascinating people—students who were passionate about music, dance, design, theater, sports, technology, the environment, foreign affairs, social change, saving the world. They have devoted endless time and energy to pursuing their passion, and talked about it with such animation that I couldn’t help but share their enthusiasm. Much more than the stories I’ve written, I remember the people I met while writing them. And it’s not just the subjects of my stories. Watching the members of the Delaware Repertory Dance Company and the MelUDees perform last weekend, I was struck by how happy they were, in their element, doing what they loved. There was a freedom and contentment that I’ve never seen in a classroom or during a lecture.
I remember being in high school and trying to figure out my next steps in life. My friends decided to go into business or accounting or pre-med—something they believed would guarantee success after college. I was only really good—and truly passionate—about one thing, and that was writing. So I became an English major. In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Five years from now, I’ll remember next to nothing about the classes I took, the grades I got, the projects I procrastinated doing. I’ll have a diploma to prove that I spent four years here, but everything will be a blur—everything except my time at The Review.
The two years I’ve officially worked for this newspaper have been stressful, tiring, time-consuming and not very financially rewarding. I’ve gone to classes on three hours of sleep, given up my weekends and watched things completely fall apart on a regular basis. And I have loved every single second of it. I, along with everyone on staff, have given my heart and soul to the paper—but what it’s given back to me has been well worth it. I met some of the smartest, funniest and kindest people I will probably ever meet, I developed skills that no class ever came close to teaching me and I did what every person hopes to do in college. I found myself.
This may seem like an overstatement when talking about a student-run college newspaper in a state so small that it’s barely on the map. But it’s not that I felt like I was changing the world by working for The Review. It was that I had finally found my place in a town I’d lived all my life. The newspaper was my passion.
I believe that everyone has a passion, even if they have yet to discover it. But once a person discovers their passion, it is amazing how much blood, sweat and tears they will throw into it. I can’t sit still for a 75-minute class, but I regularly work 14-hour days at the newspaper without a second thought. I think anyone with a passion understands this feeling. No matter how crazy things get, you know, without a doubt, that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. And the sense of accomplishment when you finish can be so euphoric that it outweighs every sacrifice you’ve made to get to that point.
College offers so many ways to find and follow your passion. There are probably three or four groups already dedicated to anything you are or could be interested in. I regret that it took me two years to join The Review. I regret that I was too afraid to take a dance class until my senior year. I regret that there are still so many things I would have loved to explore while at the university. There will never be a place with as many opportunities to pursue and expand your interests. There will never be a place with as many talented, hardworking people that share your dreams and desires. College is the place to find your passion, and what you find might be the thing that defines you for the rest of your life.
I’ll be graduating in a few weeks and leaving The Review behind. It can’t last forever, and I’m sure I wouldn’t want it to. But the paper has defined my college experience, and nearly all of my memories will be of moments, large and small, in the newsroom. I can never forget what we’ve done here, and I hope that everyone looks back on their four years the way I do—as the stage for an incredible journey that’s just beginning.
Chelsea Caltuna is a managing Mosaic editor for The Review. Her viewpoints do not necessarily represent those of the Review staff. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.