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Perilously Pursuing Passion

1 min read

Table of contents

It starts in elementary: “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” And it masquerades as a new question as you age: “What do you want to major in?” But in the end, it’s the same existential question: “What do you want your life to be?”

The more adults I talk to, the more inextricable your job seems from your life. Working at least 40 hours per week gives you very little time to do anything else. Because most people can’t retire by 30, most lives are spent working.

I find the adage “Pursue your passion” to be a deceitful one. Most passion-driven jobs are underpaid, and you don’t want a life burdened by bills.

Instead, many adults opt for contentment: Jobs that aren’t torturous but aren’t fun. Jobs that trade 40-hour work weeks for traveling, pursuing hobbies, and spending time with loved ones.

And it’s certainly the safe option. You know what you’re getting. Because what happens if you try to write and it doesn’t work out? You have to begin again, in a different, more practical career. Maybe go to school again at 30. 40? And suddenly, life’s grip is loosening, and there aren’t that many years ahead.

But what if you didn’t try, and in a different world, you did—and you were the happiest you could’ve been?

Michel Liao

Michel Liao

Boise, Idaho, United States
Hello! I'm a sophomore studying computer science at Princeton. I like reading, rock climbing, and running.