Senior year in London: Striving to do what I love

Madison Williams

Always do what you love. This is the motto I try to live by. I even have it written on the chalkboard next to my desk as a constant reminder. However, through my time at Augustana, I realize that I didn’t always follow this saying.
This phrase has been important to me since I was a kid. I remember my parents coming home from work, occasionally complaining about their work day. They sometimes “joked” that they wanted to change jobs. I recall thinking that I wanted to love my job and not come home wishing I had a different career.
As I got older, I realized this goal was difficult to achieve. Even if you love doing your job, there are going to be bad days where you need to complain about your work.
In high school, I established what I thought my passions were so that I could continue those activities in college. I soon realized I didn’t feel the same excitement for my high school extracurriculars anymore.
However, I never did anything to change my lifestyle. I am not a fan of change, so I guess my nerves caused me to go through each day not enjoying most things I set forth to do.
I found myself complaining at the end of most days. I repeatedly told myself “It’ll get better after college.” I kept thinking my passion would respark or I’d regret giving up something I used to love, but in effect, my dislike for those activities increased.
The one passion that grew in college was my love for sports journalism. I picked this career while I was a senior in high school based off of no experience doing the job. I just assumed I would love it since I enjoyed writing and I watched a lot of sports.
My time at Augustana proved to me that sports journalism is what I’m meant to do. I joined the Observer my first week of freshman year, and it was one of the best decisions I made while at Augustana.
This love is what ultimately made me decide to trade my final semester on campus for one spent interning in London. I want to experience my passion without the distractions of homework or extracurriculars. I may learn that I don’t enjoy sports writing as much as I think I do now, but I’d rather know sooner than later.
A couple weeks ago, I was on the phone with a professional in the sports writing world. At the end of our conversation, I asked him what final advice he had for me as I prepare to enter the workforce.
He told me his personal story of how he chose to follow his passion instead of what people expected of him. He said his true passion came as a surprise to him and that I might experience something similar when I begin working full time.
I laughed to myself thinking “I already know what I’m passionate about.” But, when the phone call ended, I sat and thought “Do I really know what I love to do?” I’m only 20 years old; I have time to figure out what my destined passion is.
No matter what you do in life, reflect on what activities you’re putting yourself through. Do you truly love what you do? If you don’t, make a change. It might be daunting, but I promise it will lead to a lot less complaining.