Finding Your Passions – Maxwell Burton

Before coming to college, I was told to follow my passions. I didn’t take this serious enough. I’m not sure I knew what my desires truly were. I still don’t. Maybe I had too many passions, maybe, I didn’t have enough, maybe I didn’t know where they could lead me, or maybe I followed a path I would be good at, not one I love. Regardless, throughout my time in college, I have found myself changing my future goals. I feel my major could lead me to my passions; however, as of late, I have been rethinking my passions. I am uncovering old passions that I didn’t realize were passions. They were things that brought me joy, but I had no confidence in myself to make a career out of them. 

Confidence is key. On this journey of finding my passions, this is the first time I have truly considered what brings me joy. I considered passions to be something I was good at, something that would make me money, or something others would consider achievable. Recently, I have been bombarded with advice to throw it all out the window and chase whatever life has to offer. This is the scariest thing imaginable. I have had my whole life planned out since my junior year of high school. Every time I have changed my path it has only been an adjustment to the plan, but a plan nevertheless. Learning to let go of the plan has been the hardest part of my current journey. 

Life is not straightforward, and I am learning that it’s OK to chase the opportunities you didn’t expect. Those opportunities look different for everyone, but following the exciting opportunities is extremely important. There is no right answer, so forget the plan, and throw it out the window. Our 20s are the time to try everything. Especially in college. 

Trying a multitude of things in college has little to no consequences. Being in this position is a privilege. A privilege I did not think I could afford until recently. There is a reason for the saying, “give it the old college try.” The worst thing that can happen to a structure freak like myself is discovering a passion that isn’t part of the plan. In my opinion, that is no way to live life. We only have so much time on this planet. Take a deep breath and follow the paths that excite you. 

Maxwell Burton is a sophomore studying journalism – strategic communications and pursuing a minor in marketing at Ohio University. He serves as the Vice President of Public Relations for Scripps PRSSA. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

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