Don’t be afraid to take a leap

For many students out there, the work day begins way before class: You check your phone as soon as you wake up to find a small novel’s worth of messages from classmates and peers. The rest of your day is filled with mundane tasks that you have convinced yourself are necessary to reach your career goals. You go to sleep wondering when you will finally have the time to truly pursue your passions.

Fellow classmates and soon-to-be graduates: Now is not the time to play it safe. Don’t waste your time waiting for some distant point in the future when your hard work and sacrifices will pay off. It won’t come. It is too easy to fall into the rhythm of keeping your head down and punching the clock. Instead, your time is best spent when you are doing what you are truly passionate about – not when you are trying to reach your goals by going the roundabout way.

Life is too precious to waste it climbing the proverbial ladder. Rung by rung, how high can you get before you realized you have leaned it against the wrong house?

Many college students have already realized their dream career won’t be what they had envisioned. Maybe some of you have realized you want more creative liberty or would prefer doing mission work. As reported by the New York Times, a case study of the University of Florida revealed that 61 percent of students end up changing their degree after their second year. Good for that 61 percent. They are narrowing down what it is that truly makes them come alive earlier than many others.

No matter the field, however, there will always be grind days. There will be 5 a.m. mornings and many late nights. But it’s better for you to have those grind days in a career where you are doing what you love, rather than a career where you are just pushing papers.

For many of us, even our dream careers may turn out to be dull one day. That’s OK too: According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Only 27 percent of graduates actually stick with a career related to their field, as reported in an article by the Washington Post. Interestingly enough, in the same Washington Post article, a surprising 38 percent of jobs recent graduates obtained didn’t require a degree at all.

This makes one wonder, what if some of us were never meant for college at all? What about those of us who dabble in botany, theater and freelance writing? What about those individuals who chose to pursue their passions rather than sticking to what was normal – rather than going to college?

Business Insider compiled of list of some of the most influential individuals in history who never obtained college degrees. Names such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Henry Ford and Michael Dell were just a few. Of course, possibly the most well known example of a revolutionary who followed his passions to change the world was Steve Jobs.

Had these great thinkers never answered the beckoning of their deepest interests, what would life be like today?

Friends, how can we ever be expected to do our best work if we are depleting our time chasing after the superficial? How much better would your future be if you quit taking the roundabout route to your future happiness? I’m of the school of thought that those who follow their passions produce the best work in that field. Maybe the same applies to you. Now is not the time to play it safe. And this all begs the question, what keeps you awake at night?