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Follow Your Passions

By Jan Abel

Published September 23, 2021 in The Burg

Hi, Jan here! The school year is truly underway, and I am quickly being reminded of

something I figured out by the end of last school year.

One of the big things that people going into the humanities (art, theatre, music, language, etc.) hear when they first tell people their majors is “Well will you be able to work? It’d be better to get a degree in a real field, and just keep that as a hobby.” Now, while I could, and just might one day, make a rebuttal to this argument, there is something to be said about majoring in something that your younger self considered a hobby. My roommate and I are both excellent examples for this. My roommate is an Art and Psychology double major, and I am an English and Public Relations double.

Growing up, I loved to read. I was one of the biggest patrons in my school libraries, and

just about all of them knew me by name. I could breeze through 300 page books in one sitting, five days a week, and still be hungry for more. Fantasy was my escape, and it still is, but let me tell you how that changes when you start going into academia.

Looking at my schedule for this past week, I had to: read and make notes on three

chapters of my economics textbook; read two chapters and redo notes on four chapters for my public relations class; read an eight page article and write a 20 line poem for creative writing; and read maybe about fifty pages of a British Romanticism anthropology for my British literature class. That’s on top of any club activities, simple chores, or personal writing I’d need to finish by the weekend. Now, I’m not saying this stuff to just complain. I love my classes, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to further my education, but even the strongest of English majors has a tough time reading and annotating that much in a given week.

While I don’t know my roommate’s exact to do list, I know that they have a charcoal

piece due on Monday that they’ve been working on drafts and sketches for for well over a week, on top of math homework, psychology readings, other various classwork, and personal art pieces they may want to work on.

The idea of making a living doing things that I am passionate for, was my exact reasoning for my majors, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. The downside of this though, is that your escapes, your pride and joys, become grades (or chores in some cases). Eyes on the prize I suppose.

I hope you all have an excellent week, and hey, I hope you read something that you’re

able to enjoy! Until next time: stay safe, get vaccinated, and I’ll talk to you very soon.

(Jan is a Galesburg High School graduate and a student at Monmouth College.)

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