Simply Shreya: passion vs. compulsion


Morgan Kong

Wingspan's Shreya Jagan shares her personal take on issues and experiences in her weekly column Simply Shreya.

Shreya Jagan, Staff Reporter

The timeless debate.

Passion vs. compulsion.

I learned the other day that our school’s jazz band was dropped this year. Naturally, I wondered why. It came to my surprise that it was cancelled because there were too many people who weren’t able to handle their studying and workload to be able to commit. 

After hearing about this, I started to get a little concerned. I mean, I’ve always had to set aside time for studying, but I didn’t think there’d ever come a time where I would have to pick between something that I enjoy doing and something that I should be doing.

I thought about how many people have talked to me before about auditioning for jazz band, about the number of hours they had put into auditioning, how happy they were once they made it in. 

Now I think about how many people are restricted from pursuing something that gives them a source of happiness on an otherwise stressful day. 

Extracurriculars have always been hard to manage with the constant pour of tests, quizzes, and homework. But when it comes time to make a decision between taking an AP class for your junior year or pursuing your passion, that’s where the line gets murkier. 

Colleges look for a well rounded person. A student that has interests and still has the drive to work hard in their classes. How are they going to find such people when we don’t even have time to breathe in between? I think we often forget that well rounded doesn’t necessarily mean constantly occupied and overly busy. 

Now, there are people who give up their “dreams” for a life working in a corporate job on a 9-5 schedule. At the same time, there are others who choose to give up a life of a monotonous routine for something they want to invest their time into. As long as you’re doing what you really want to do, then there isn’t an issue.

In hindsight, a lot of the times the things we want to do are muddled because of the fact that we may not have time for them due to our constant workload. But the problem is that this is all talk for the years succeeding high school and college. I think it’s insensitive to have students make that decision of their future immediately. Especially if these students have to choose between passion and compulsion and decide to pick the latter. 

They’re giving up something that they’re willing to show their commitment for and interest in so that they can achieve pleasing numbers on their GPA. But, we need to have that balance.

This is the age when we’re supposed to be figuring out what we enjoy doing. We’re supposed to be making mistakes so we know what we don’t like. But, it seems as if there’s no leg room for any high schoolers. Once you walk through those doors, if you don’t have it etched into your mind that nothing else matters except sim 8 classes, then you don’t have a shot. This is the mindset instilled in so many students on campus. 

Reality is not easy. Not everyone will be sitting at a computer all day typing numbers in. And not everybody will be out rock climbing. 

But whether it’s one or the other is certainly not a decision worth sacrificing things for at the moment.