Do any high school kids read my Tumblr? Here is something that Joyce Carol Oates said on Twitter today, which you should keep in mind:
“My ideal college would not admit ‘well-rounded’ students at all. Expecting excellence in many areas is unrealistic & encourages subterfuge.”
This is my own little story, in replies:
“Yes. I was HS debate team secretary without passion for what I was doing. Knew it would look good for college. Regret that.”
“Doing something without passion is useless for life and work.”
I did a lot of activities like that in high school. It worked out pretty well, at the time. I got into my top choices. I received a generous state scholarship that covered my undergrad tuition in full, plus others that helped with additional costs.
But, I was so focused on getting into college that I was a bit lost when I finally got there. It probably wasn’t until the last semester of my last year, while I was writing my thesis and taking my first and only art class, that I truly started to feel like I was figuring it out. Then it was time to hand it in, and be set free in the world.
I am lucky enough to know awesome people who feel self-actualized. Those are people that I admire. They didn’t shy away from their passions early on, and now it’s working out well for them. This is true across different fields. Awesome people pursue what they feel passionate about, then keep going with it. I now believe that, if you do that, it will serve you well (perhaps not immediately — eventually).
Design your life purely to look good on paper, and you are wasting it. You won’t be honest, and you won’t be happy. People will pick up on it.
Passions will serve you. (They make things more fun for you, too.)
- from Heather, an almost-30-year-old