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The woes of doing what you love for a living

The woes of doing what you love for a living

The woes of doing what you love for a living
April 21
14:00 2021

A life in academics is a challenging one. No matter what avenue you choose to embark on your undergraduate journey, there will be bumps along the way. Majoring in a field that you have had a lifelong passion for sounds like a match made in heaven – like a declaration that you are meant to do this. The road to a degree would be a romantic and blissful experience full of enlightenment that will only strengthen one’s love for said field. On paper, what could possibly go wrong?

The truth is no job is immune from tediousness. The adage of “if you do what you love you will never work a day in your life” is straight-up delusional. Put it plainly, there is no joy without suffering. Honing any kind of craft is tedious work that hardly brings immediate reward. Getting into the nitty-gritty of anything requires patience and endless trial and error.

We have all had those late nights where we were swamped with a mountain of work. Even classes that sounded so appealing on paper can consist of menial tasks that are a chore to get through. It then becomes easy to wonder if the field you chose is as cracked up to be. Thus begins a slippery slope of anxiety as you wonder if you truly loved or cared for this field in the first place.

Sixty-one percent of college graduates said they would have changed their undergraduate path if given the chance, according to a survey conducted by BestColleges. The main reason students felt this way is because they wish they had pursued their passion instead of settling for the practical.

However, that is not to say a more traditional degree is lacking. There is no shame in pursuing a more conventional and stable means of living. Depending on how one’s priorities are, keeping a well-balanced and “normal” life can be the ultimate satisfaction. Dismissing one’s desire for normalcy or dependable living is rash and shortsighted. Whereas pursuing one’s passion can lead to a more adventurous and “storybook” life, more domesticated means offer a calmer, Zen-like fulfillment. And in a time full of so much noise, perhaps a quieter life is not so out of style.

It can also be disheartening when you realize the true implications of doing what you love for a living. This chosen field is going to be your trade and be your primary source of income. With the job market being as competitive as ever, we have to consider less appealing jobs as a necessary evil. For writers, it can be lending your skills to a niche company in an industry you know nothing about. Passions aside, the bills need to get paid, forcing ourselves to take on undesired jobs for the stability’s sake.

No job is perfect. Even the most coveted or beloved jobs in the world come with their version of frustrations and obstacles. We are hardly the first to have an existential crisis with our degree plan and we will not be the last. Instead of lamenting the what-ifs or could-have-beens, our time will be better spent by embracing and appreciating what is in front of us.

Sure, the honeymoon period might have ended with that one tedious assignment but it was always bound to end. The speed bumps we encounter along the way should not be looked at as dealbreakers or a divine sign that you are not cut out for this. These uphill battles are natural progressions that could offer ways to fall back in love with your respective field. Appreciating and accepting your field for what it is truly worth, warts and all, is truly doing what you love.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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Kevin Diaz

Kevin Diaz

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