By Camille Furst
With the beginning of the semester underway, new and returning students are getting settled with their classes, choosing what they’d like to learn for the year and being offered many opportunities with clubs, organizations and ways to get involved on campus.
When I was a freshman last year, I grew a passion for learning about new things, regardless of the subject matter. With this, I felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of avenues that laid before me — what was my college experience going to be like? It was all up to me to decide. This is one of the most exciting, yet daunting experiences of life.
One of the most difficult challenges I had to overcome was my predisposition that whatever a student learns in college, there must be an end goal; a firm reason for each class you take and how it will benefit you in acquiring the “dream” job, as well as having the idyllic career so many yearn for.
Yet, in a 2013 study conducted by the University of Phoenix in Arizona, 80 percent of workers in their 20s said they wanted to change their careers. With so many people choosing a subject to learn in college solely based on the potential for a stable career only to be placed in an economy that fluctuates and where their interests change, I’ve learned that there doesn’t need to be an end goal. The reason for learning doesn’t need to have an ulterior motive — students should be able to learn simply because they’re curious and passionate about the subject matter.
I’ve learned over this past year that focusing on something that you’re truly passionate about is much more rewarding than studying solely for a job down the road. As a double major in journalism and professional writing and religious studies, many ask what I’m planning on doing in my career. And while I’m never completely sure, I know there are so many opportunities before me. It’s still just as daunting, but I know that whether I end up reporting on religious issues, working in the publishing industry or becoming a writer about religion, my passion will lead me to where I need to be.
And the only way to find out is to try; to feel the freedom of learning simply for the sake of learning itself.