February 21, 2024

I’ve been reading a lot lately about people who follow their passion, who do what they love, no matter the risk. An artist who works out of his garage, a young woman who opened a boutique with no prior business experience, an entrepreneurial chef who transformed a run-down auto garage into a world-class inn and restaurant (what’s with garages?), a college freshman who visits Haiti four times a year on top of being a full-time student.

Although none of these people have any surface similarities, they all share that stubborn drive to pursue the thing they love. The innkeeper calls it his “magnificent obsession.”

Leading The Banner these past three semesters, and contributing for nearly three semesters before that, has been my own “magnificent obsession.” It may not be magnificent (definition: great in deed or exalted in place), but it has been an obsession (definition: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling). Long nights and frantic deadlines don’t make for the most glamorous work (or the most glamorous Rebekah at 8 the next morning), but it is the perfect fodder for cultivating an all-consuming hunger for journalism.

Serving and growing with this plucky newspaper and its equally spirited staff has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life, despite, and in part because of, the many challenges.

This four-year transition into adulthood we’re given in college is the perfect time for us to discover ourselves and figure out what we want from life. We’re surrounded by professors and mentors encouraging us to “live our purpose” while we’re here, but it takes on a whole new meaning when we graduate and actually have to figure out what that purpose is. Don’t waste this opportunity to explore and learn about yourself and the world around you; college is the only time you get to unashamedly admit to being lost, and it’s the most time you’ll ever have to find your own direction.

I’m not a touchy-feely person, and I get tired of the trite “follow your dreams!” mantra, but there’s merit to the idea that if you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life. (How many clichés can I fit in one article? Keep count for me, because I’ve lost track.)

Life is too short to spend it in tedium. Pursuing what you’re passionate about may be a risk, but it’s a worthwhile one. Life is so much fuller when you’re able to fully dedicate yourself to a purpose you believe in.

So whatever it is, find your magnificent obsession and chase it your whole life.

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