Hegde: Moving past passion

UI students discuss the thought process behind giving up a passion upon entering college.


Suchaeta Hegde, Opinions Columnist

We’ve heard it time and time again: College is a time to nurture your passions and delve into your interests. A situation seldom talked about is the passions that people choose to give up upon reaching university. College is filled with commitments, and if the activity you are participating in isn’t your career plan, chances are you have to decide whether you want to add that into the balance. With major-related activities and a heavy course load, many students can’t find the time to pursue their past extracurriculars in college or are unable to continue at the college level.

I posted a survey on Facebook to get the opinion of other college students. While the passions of the students who responded ranged from the arts to various sports, all 17 who answered were considering continuing their activity of choice in college. That being said, there were many reasons that students couldn’t continue pursuing the activities they did.

Freshman Elisabeth Neruda was planning on continuing tennis in college. “I even brought my racket,” she said. However, Neruda, like many college students, became involved with many other clubs and organizations, and along with classes, she realized she didn’t have time to keep playing tennis. She said one of the factors that affected her decision was distance. “If the tennis courts were a little bit closer to my dorm or closer to campus, I might go hit around some more,” she said.

“I am here to get a degree, which is a privilege [that] I need to take seriously,” college student Alli said. She had to prioritize college over dancing, which had proved to be “expensive and time consuming.” While she no longer dances, the sophomore in college said she goes regularly to the gym to exercise and stretches to “maintain flexibility.” 

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From fifth grade to my senior year of high school, I was a choir kid. I took part in numerous choirs — some of which included the American Choral Directors Association National Honor Choir to my school’s premier a cappella group — and dedicated time outside of school to events and practices. Before entering college, it was unimaginable to even speculate that I wouldn’t sing in college. Now, as I nostalgically listen to choral music as I type this article, I can’t help but wonder what happened. When I sing now, I can’t help but think back to when my voice was in its prime. How much would my voice have improved if I had continued singing in a group? I guess I will never know. However, the fact remains that I did not have time to prepare for auditions and had too many academic commitments to join any singing groups at the UI.

Don’t worry, I didn’t stop singing altogether. My roommates can confirm that I can be found singing to myself while I study at home. Every so often, my friend and I will stop by Voxman and practice harmonizing in a practice room. While I miss singing with others for events, I don’t think I could ever give up singing altogether — I love music too much. Maybe I don’t sound as great as I once did, but every so often, I will hit a note just right.

Ultimately, I don’t think people truly give up their passions; after all, they will always be part of who they became.