Monday, March 21, 2011

"Do what you love"

Written by a former I.S. Student

In response to The Silent Majority of Teens:

The same exact issues are prevalent at the college level. The pressures to perform are multiplied, especially when a lack of performance can crush your lifelong goals and aspirations. The weight of that pressure accumulates because now you are paying for your education. Your parents are investing thousands upon thousands of dollars on YOU, expecting you to meet THEIR expectations. In this school I am surrounded by prodigies; sons and daughters of doctors, lawyers, politicians, and CEOs. I used to think that I was less fortunate because my parents aren't college graduates or even high school graduates. I admit that my freshmen year in college I felt ashamed that I didn't have the best clothes, wasn't a member of a sorority and didn't fit in with "those girls". But I soon realized how blessed I really was to be in this situation. My mother did not educate me on how to get into college, how to get a medical degree and how to have a competitive edge. Instead she taught me how to be sincere, empathetic, loving and accepting. She taught me how to work hard, but to never let stress overwhelm my life. She taught me how to work selflessly instead of selfishly. With this outlook I have been able to succeed at a top university. I get recognized by faculty not solely on my performance but by my character. I do not exhibit the jealousy, competitiveness and disrespect that other students do. When I commit to a project (be it in research or in the community) I commit to it wholeheartedly because I LOVE what I do.

I tell this to my residents all the time, "Do what you love". Freshmen always come to this school thinking that they want to be doctors or politicians, but as soon as they begin to take these courses and they don't do well, they start to feel like failures. They go from being a big fish in a little pond to a little fish in a large pond of overachievers. But not everyone is meant to be a doctor or a lawyer, and that's OKAY! If you love to write, than WRITE! You don't need to fit the mold that society built. Doing what you love leads to success because you will put more effort into what you do, and you will be happier doing it.


  1. The thought of depending mainly on oneself and not having the security of a parent is intimidating, and adds pressure to pursuing a medical degree or anything similar to the sort. I have the same background mentioned in the blog, but I never stopped to appreciate the other qualities (such as moral values and behavioral traits)that my parents taught me. High school made me think that a doctor or lawyer is the right career to pursue, and that music and art is nothing but a hobby unless you are extremely talented or incredibly unique. This mentality gives me a biased look at college majors to pursue, and discourages me to do what I actually enjoy (creating art). Pursuing something that I have a passion for seems logical, but I still have the doubt of not receiving a high paycheck to live comfortably.On the other hand, the thought of waking up everyday knowing I have to lug myself to a place I consider tedious is not appealing. The fear of not fulfilling the expectations from society is overwhelming, but blogs like this and talking to my brothers about college make me question what do I really want. My older brother says that pursuing something I enjoy will benefit in the long run, and that I shouldn’t let society set a guideline for what is the right and successful way of growing up.

  2. @Maria you've got to pursue what you love. My wife always loved art and got a BFA but did graphic design to be practical. She would've been great at it but then she found an edge in fine art (studio furniture) that she loved. She's a SAHM now but makes some brilliant stuff when she has time. As long as you put yourself in a position to make a decent paycheck you'll be good, but "decent" doesn't mean you have to knock down 200k a year before you're 30. Graphic design, teaching... its all good.

  3. My brother also suggested graphic design and computer animation. He emphasized that I don't have to choose a major and stick with it as if theres no turning back, that many people change their minds 2,3,4 times! I'm feeling less fettered from the constant negative view on an art career, and thank you because I need to get the idea of "decent" or "comfortable" living to not mean living in complete luxury. I don't know what SAHM is... I'm assuming it doesn't include creating art? Either way I admire your wife for being able to still create artwork and pursue what she loves.

  4. Coming into high school I had my mind set on becoming a pedeatrician, then I changed my mind to a pedeatric onologist. I was convinced that these were the right careers for me. As I entered my junior year I began to realize how much I was getting into sports. I still wanted to work in healthcare but as I was watching tv I saw how the sports medicine field was growing. That's when it hit me. I knew at that moment I wanted to work in sports medicine. I just had to figure out what exactly I wanted to do in the field. It took about a year to conclude what I wanted to do. When I told people I wanted to be a physical therapist with professional athletes, people were quick to assume that I was trying to get with an athlete, but that was not the case, I just want to help people and I felt this was the best way to do this. The career I chose for myself not only doesn't fit into the standards but is a male dominant field. I just want to do something I love and that I will love from years to come. I feel as though since people chose not to be a doctor or lawyer but a teacher, or nurse they get looked down upon, I do believe however its not on purpose but just a natural habit. Even though a lot of people are concerned about what others think of them, simply do what you love and what makes you happy. Society doesn't have to do the job, you do so why not make the most of it. You have to surround yourself by people that want to see you succeed no matter what you choose. Find a support system, they'll support you on what you chose to do in life or if you change your mind about what its store for you. No matter how big or small the career, hobby, or opportunity , do what makes you happy at the end of the day and that gives you the most pride. Live long and prosper. :)