Finding Your Passion, Even if it Takes 100 Years.

Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I would spend hours playing school in my garage and forcing countless family members to be my "students". I never thought about doing anything else with my life, and as years went by, my love for teaching grew and grew. By the time I was in college, I realized that being a teacher was part of my passion for helping people. Not only did my passion show through my career choice, but it also showed in my sorority (I served as Philanthropy Chair and VP of New Member Education Assistant). I always felt this strong desire to help people, to volunteer, and to just generally connect with people so I could hopefully change their lives. My personal blog even connects with my passion - I'm constantly writing advice on my blog and trying to see how I can change people's views.

Finding my passion was easy, it basically just fell into my lap. Knowing what I wanted to do with my life was definitely something that helped me in the later years of life. I had done students teaching internships in high school, I declared my major as a freshman, and joined my sorority my second semester of college. But figuring out your passion isn't a cake walk for everybody, and even for me it's hard to stay on the right path. Everyone's passions are going to be different, but I think the overall steps to figuring out what you want to do is fairly universal. It just takes some time, patience, and maybe a little bit of soul searching. Regardless, finding your passion is a fun experience, and is something that will really change your life in a positive way.

FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU LIKE TO DO - Nine times out of ten your passion lies in the crevices of what you like to do. I LOVE teaching and I LOVE writing, so it makes sense that my passion is helping people via my blog and my career choice. Try sitting down and making a list of what you like to do. It doesn't have to be big things, it could be as simple as "going shopping" (uh hello! Passion for fashion!). Find things that make YOU happy. Find things that excite you. Find things that you don't mind doing by yourself, because you can't have a passion that's shared with someone. What if that person isn't around one day?

DON'T GET DISCOURAGED - If you're not sure what the heck you're doing yet, don't get upset. It's okay to be clueless right now. Figuring out what you're going to do with your life is almost as fun as actually doing it! So don't get frustrated if you're not sure of your plans at the moment. Remember that finding your passion takes patience and dedication.

EXPLORE NEW THINGS - I never thought I would want to join a sorority. I didn't even know what it was until I got to college. Now, my sorority is one of the key places that allows me to pursue my passion. Your passion might be hiding somewhere you haven't explored before. Be willing to jump out of your comfort zone and try new things. Join a new club, or start a new hobby one day when you aren't busy. It's surprising how much fun something you've never tried is.

NOTICE HOW YOU REACT TO THINGS - I knew that teaching was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but I had trouble connecting with the age group I had decided to pursue. I had started out thinking that I wanted to teach high school, but then I was placed in an 8th grade classroom. Those two days in the 8th grade classroom forever changed my view of teaching. I love the age group and the environment, and I craved going back everyday. That's what passion feels like. That feeling of wanting to wake up in the morning and go do what you're meant to do. Since then, I've felt so different about teaching, and that feeling shines though me. If you're doing something and you catch yourself itching to go back, that's probably a good sign. If your conversations with people automatically come back to a certain topic, take note of that. If you're excited about it, there's a good chance it's something significant.

Whether you have everything figured out or not, remember that a passion is supposed to be positive and fun. Don't let anything get you discouraged or frustrated, and if for some reason something isn't for you anymore, it's okay. People change, minds change, and the journey continues.