The Art of Following Your Passions

      I have to say, when I started high school, I was the worst writer on the face of the planet, but I was put into upper-level English because I had “impeccable comprehension of literature.” However, my first-year English teacher absolutely transformed my understanding of writing with one simple acronym. Broad, vague and general, or “BVG,” was constantly plastered over my papers. I could not understand why my analysis was not matching what I understood from the various texts I was reading. This routinely occurred until one day my teacher told me to write like I was telling a story. She told me that you would not tell a story that lacked side comments and proper analyses. My later papers were marked with excellence. This simple teaching propelled me to join the student newspaper in the beginning of my sophomore year. Journalism combined my love for leadership with my newfound passion for writing. I wrote one, two or sometimes three articles for each issue. The stories I wrote about inspired me. I heard these stories, and I was completely honored to cover them for the newspaper.

      My love for journalism shifted when I was the Editor-in-Chief of my publication. I loved having others look to me for advice. I loved that I could inspire young writers like my English teacher did for me just a few years prior. My latter years of high school were filled with working with the newspaper. I worked toward having an inclusive newspaper. I vowed never to cover the same thing twice. I fell in love with journalism, so to speak; I could never find a single thing wrong with it.

      All throughout high school I was told (mostly by my mom) to major in journalism when I entered university. But, thinking about stability and saving others, I vowed to become a nurse. I told myself that there is no greater job than one that can heal others.

      So when I was accepted to Eastern in early 2016, I entered its esteemed nursing program. And, for the last two semesters, I have been diligently working toward achieving a nursing degree. But no matter how hard I tried, my passion for journalism has lingered.

      I remember being at Eastern’s club fair early in the fall. I was trying to sign up for swing dancing and ignore The Waltonian. I felt that if I wrote for another paper, I would not keep my commitment of becoming a nurse. But as soon as I passed the table for The Waltonian, I felt propelled to sign up. I tried to rationalize it by saying, “Oh, it won’t hurt if I just write an article occasionally.” So I signed up. I told myself that I could write for the paper, but I could never be an editor. Becoming an editor, I thought, would surely send me on a “path of doom” (or majoring in journalism). Sure enough, I was promoted to Web Editor four weeks later. With these progressions in the publication, I still stuck to my word of becoming a nurse.

      However, I realized that I will never be happy until I do what I love most. Although I loved the thought of being a nurse, I could not give up on my ability to have a possible future with journalism. Just a few weeks ago, I decided to change my major to journalism with minors in gender studies, communications and literature. Writing “journalism” as my major was the most rewarding act I have done since I started at Eastern. I was finally allowing myself to feel passion for something other than stability. I feel passion for writing.

      Changing my major was perhaps one of the scariest things I have ever done. I filled out a piece of paper that I felt changed my whole life. Declaring a major in journalism has made me realize that you can save the lives of others through the power of words. Using just 26 letters, a writer can change the course of someone’s life. The power of the English language completely astounds me.

      The art of dream-chasing is not a dream at all. Once you set your mind to your passions, you can change the course of your life. The ultimate dream in life is to love what you are doing, and I love journalism.

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