Stop asking me what I’m passionate about

My hobbies consist of cooking, writing, playing the piano, reading, doodling, talking, and variety of seemingly inconsistent activities. In my lifetime, I hope to wear various different hats and hold various different jobs. I know what I’m good at, and I know there are things I’m not so good at. When people ask me what I want to do when I graduate, I pretty much offer a different answer each time. This is not because I have absolutely no idea what I want to do, it’s because I hear about a lot of different things that I would love to do.

The problem with this is that it often translates to the idea that I am unmotivated or not passionate about anything. In reality, it is the complete opposite. I can picture myself working in variety of different professions and completely dedicating myself to it.

As a sophomore in college, I often get blank stares when I tell people I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do. I don’t understand this. I am 20 years old with my whole life ahead of me. Hopefully I will have the option to pursue various things that make me happy in life. For those of you who know for a fact they want to be a nurse or a teacher, more power to you! We need people like this. But for those of us who like the idea of exploring different things and not being tied down to one profession, don’t think you are wrong. The world needs people like this too.

Knowing exactly what you want to do doesn’t make you better, smarter, more driven or more passionate. It just makes you someone who knows exactly where they want to be in 30 years. And not knowing exactly what you want to do, but being open to a variety of things doesn’t make you any less driven, un-passionate, or untalented, it just makes your journey a little less obvious and planned. If in 30 years I have owned an adorable little coffee shop in La Jolla, worked in a PR office, written for a magazine, gone to space, or whatever it may be, I’m not off track, my track is just filled with different journeys and directions.

So, next time you ask someone where they want to do right after they graduate and their answer is along the lines of, “I’m still thinking about it,” don’t write them off as lost, confused, or unenthusiastic. In fact, they are probably the dreamers overflowing with ideas, goals, spirit, and dedication.