Unwarranted Opinions: being OK with being an amateur


Morgan Kong

In her weekly column “UnWarranted Opinions,” staff reporter Drew Julao takes on a variety of topics and gives her take.

Drew Adrian Julao, Staff Reporter

Everyone wants to be amazing at something. Everyone wants to be recognized and praised. It’s built into us, this passion that makes us want to be glorified for our achievements, but not everyone is going to get it. Not everyone is going to be the Mozart of their chosen skill, and that’s okay. I find that to enjoy something, you don’t have to be good at it, and comparing your skills and abilities to others will only make you enjoy it less.

The word amateur originates from French and Latin by proxy and means “one who loves”. I have a deep appreciation for this word. There are a lot of ignorant people in the world who will make fun of amateurs and say that they’re “mediocre at best”, but I would rather be completely in love with something I am doing than be passionless but good at it.

We are the ones who love. And we shouldn’t expect ourselves to be any more than that.

I love to draw, but I am no Picasso by any means, and I actually like that. I like the rugged, inexperienced style I have when my pencil touches paper. I can appreciate my work even when it isn’t perfect. I love my work, because I made it even if I’ll never win prizes for it and it’ll never be displayed anywhere. Even if it just lives between the covers of my notebook.

Plus, with practice, everyone improves and natural talent would be nothing without actual skill. So, even if you aren’t good at first, trying again and again will make you better. We all had to learn how to walk and talk and I have to say, though some very clumsy people make me question their ability to do so, people in general are pretty good at it and that’s because they do it everyday.

Do you think race car drivers know how to do their job from the first time they sit in a vehicle? Absolutely not. They learn and practice because they want to be good. So, as long as you have the love and the willpower, you’re all set! Hesitation is the greatest barrier to success.

Might I say, success is different to everyone. During a conversation with one of my good friends, she said that success to her is loving what she does and doing what she wants to do. Her success is measured by how she feels not how many achievements she’s had. I had never really considered that before, to me, I’ve always wanted to do amazing things and be recognized for it and win awards, gain medals, have a reputation, make the world know my name, but that doesn’t matter if you don’t feel anything for it. So, yes, I am very proud to be an amateur.

Also, being an amateur means that you are at the beginning of a journey which, to me, is exciting. Imagine the places you’ll go and the people you’ll meet along the way. Sometimes, things will feel scary and uncertain, but I think I’d like to live a full life rather than hesitate all the time and never be as great as I would like to be. So, I will be an amateur, cause I am only 17 and I will keep on practicing while I am at an age when no one expects me to be good at anything. I will be the young amateur and one day, when I look back, hopefully I will feel proud of myself for how far I’ve come.