As an uncertain teenager, how do you start to take the path towards a career that you’ll be passionate about?

Hey. Lulu here. I’ve recently just graduated from College of the Atlantic. I’ve gone through a lot of confusions and doubts during my time in high school and then struggled with what my college experience should result in. Luckily, my inclination towards the sciences and nature drew me to choose the right college. Although I was still slightly confused when I began my college years, I unconsciously shaped my future passions. Not everyone gets the luck to end up in the right place, but here is a list I hope will save you from at least ending up in the wrong place. You still might now know your passion after following these steps, but your vision won’t be as foggy.

  1. Look at yourself. When searching for a passion or a calling, we find ourselves looking everywhere around us. We look at brochures, search endless hours online, or take systematic quizzes that assign us into fenced-in positions. We feel this need to infinitely search for our desires in what’s around us. We feed our craving for finding an answer with all this information we won’t retain after turning our heads away. STOP! Look at yourself; look at what you’re drawn to or what you find yourself constantly doing and expand on that. Or as Jessica Hischer, an illustrator and letterer says, ‘The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.
  2. Environment environment environment! After figuring yourself out, the next step is to choose the environment you most desire. You need to surround yourself with what you want yourself modeled after. Consider the opportunities you’d be offered and the people you will interact with.  Personally, I was surrounded by opportunities of unique internships, relaxing activities, good coffee shops, small class sizes, people with real interest and dedication for nature, and a lot of ambitious emotions. These things helped me grow in the right ways and let me take roots in my genuine interests.
  3. Help someone find their passion. I’ve noticed that the advice I give others would help me out too. Until you’ve said it aloud, you’re unconsciously harboring secrets to your success. By talking to other people on how they should approach their future, you’ll give yourself the answers you’ve been searching for.
  4. Experience college fully. There are so many doors opened to you when you reach college. Experiencing a bit of everything is extreme, but you need to choose a good range and variety of activities. You might be surprised at what you would find yourself enjoying. Maybe you like worms a little too much, and you end up really appreciating their importance from research you develop. I ended up researching my favorite furry animals by moving to one of their countries of origin. By getting the proper experience from college, I gained the courage to move to a new country to be closer to what I love.

About the Author

Lulu Fallings graduated from COA in 2010.  She lived for two years in Maine, but then moved to Australia. Her studies are mostly concentrated on the adorable animals,  Petaurus breviceps, or more commonly known as sugar gliders. One of the most important things she took away from college is that her environment is crucial. That’s how she came to own six sugar gliders, five fish, two parakeets, and a lovebird. The sugar gliders need constant attention, so her weekends consist of Netflix and cuddling with her six puffs.

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