Discovering your passion as a high school student

I was intrigued yesterday as I saw two girls taking pictures at a local high school volleyball game. I’ve since realized that the girls were probably part of the school newspaper crew, but my mind initially told a different story (much like the backstory I’ve created for the band Fun, a story I’ll have to share another time).

The story I attached to these two girls is that they are two friends from school who enjoy photography. They aren’t very good at it, but want to be. After borrowing their parent’s or their aunts old DSLR camera, they set out to “do” something. But they couldn’t figure out what to do at first…they’re sure they can’t get a job, they aren’t old enough and don’t have any experience. They’ve offered to take family pictures, but they keep getting a “That sounds great! I’ll talk to my husband about it and let you know” response.

Finally, a little bit discouraged and a little bit desperate, they sat down together, expressed their frustration, and with a courageous suggestion from one of the girls about going out on their own, determined to make things happen.

So they decided to show up at their local high school volleyball game. No one would care, and most people would probably think they were from the school paper anyways. So they stayed there the whole game, taking action shots, close-ups, and pictures of the crowd. They’d look down at the camera screen after each shot, because thats what all the professionals do.

Then they spent a few hours late into the night looking through their pictures and excitedly sharing their best shots with each other.

After a few weeks like this, one of them will realize she’s just not that in to photography, while the other one will, from that day on, always envision great shots and cool angles and will start saving money for a camera of her own. She will take photography classes, get a job with a local freelancer doing cool projects, and carry her passion for photography throughout her life.

volleyball-photographer

Totally made up story, but believable, right?

What I got out of it is this: Why don’t more kids, heck why didn’t I, take up something that they are interested in…even slightly interested…and run with it. Try it out for a day or two. Give it a go.

Think you could be interested in photography? Borrow the best camera you can and go out and pretend as if you really are working for the school newspaper. Or a national newspaper for that matter.

Heard about how fun it was to be a web designer? Talk to a local designer and see if you can job shadow him for an hour each day for just one week and help out with an actual project.

What about a policeman, a teacher, a doctor, a fireman? See what you can do to experience it. Live a “day in the life”.

Learn new skills, try new things. I believe such an attitude would go a long way to finding things you are excited about and drawn to. I think that too many people are sitting at a point past their high school days, and past their college days, working in a job they don’t really love, reading about people who love their jobs and build or do great things and wish they could do the same. I feel that way sometimes.

Maybe you would be great at lacrosse but you’ve never even tried it! Maybe you’d love a career in teaching, but you’ve never really given it a try.

Maybe there is something out there that you could be one of the very best at – but you just don’t know it.

Anyways, the point I’m getting at is that I think there would be a ton of value in high school- and college-age kids getting out and trying new things. Lots of things. I think it could be really fun, and I think it would help them find what they are passionate about and to spend their lives doing things they love and are excited about.

And you know, maybe the people who are past high school and college, the people who think its a little too late, can still find their passion too.

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2 Comments

  1. I agree! Just yesterday I was talking to Bre about something similar. Things I wish I had known to do- and that I hope she has learned from me so that she will do. Job shadowing would be a cool class to take in high school.

    1. I hope she will do it as well. Its definitely easier to look back and think of the things you should have done than to realize the things you should be doing now.

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