Stop using the term “discover your passion”.


Uproot Your Ethics

Uproot Your Ethics is an example where the creators pursue different interests without being tied to a particular subject.

Elyssa Lieu, Senior Editor

During our high school career, we inevitably struggle to find out who we are. It’s a time when, unlike middle school, we get to know more about ourselves and our personalities and find what makes us individual through the greater freedom of choice we have. On the flip side of this journey, though, is the realization that we are not as unique as we thought we were, and as a result, much of our choices in high school are influenced by the desire to make up for this and be seen as different, to stand out, or to be, quite simply, special.

Many of the peers we look up to, then, are only role models in the sense that they have already achieved this status to the social circles around them. In the overwhelming urge to join them and gain respect from the people around us, it’s all too easy to simplify individuality as a guaranteed result of finding your passion. This misconception leads many of us to engage in activities we have no interest in continuing save for the possibility it holds of being our elusive “passion”. Coding, signing up to be a monthly volunteer, or starting a literary club are all examples of the kinds of work a person can force themselves to do, using precious breaks of free time in order to fulfill a mechanical responsibility toward whatever project they’ve committed to not out of genuine interest but a want to have one. These false motivations eventually fade to leave the person saddled down with work they have no interest in.

This is the worst situation, for a person to be blocked from discovering themselves, especially when, ironically enough, it’s due to their efforts to do precisely that. 

That’s why cliches like “discover your passion” might actually harm people rather than help. It presents a passion like some magical Fix-It tool that can square up against all the parts you don’t like about yourself and change them – and overall you – into the dream person you’ve always wanted to be. It ignores the fact that our interests are fluid and constantly changing, and that for the majority of us, there will never be one single thing that triggers some magical inner voice inside.

Instead of discovering our passions, let’s take a step back to what it’s all for – discovering ourselves. In the long run, your interests and hobbies will give you more stuff to talk about with people, but you have to figure out for yourself what truly makes you happy. In 2021, let’s stop aiming to be the ideal version of ourselves. We’ll be just fine with who we are already.