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Opinion

Lost motivation can be rediscovered by reflecting on one’s passion

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February 21, 2017

When I think about the type of person that I am, I would consider myself to be a relatively motivated and focused person. Most of the time when I set out to do something, I don’t stop until I’ve successfully achieved whatever it is. I work hard for the things I want.

However, this semester has been a tough one for me. I’ve picked up some extra hours at work, and they’ve unfortunately left me immensely tired and feeling, well, unmotivated.

As terrible as it sounds, I actually debated on whether I should drop out all together this semester; clearly, I did not choose that route, but I have dropped a couple of my classes and am now taking a course load that I feel I can confidently handle.

With that being said, I still find myself lacking interest in jumping into my classes with both feet. Of course, it’s not because the classes themselves are not interesting. It’s just I can’t find it within myself to fully commit. I’m tired.

I obviously do not enjoy feeling this way, because receiving an education is something that I have always held near and dear, and I can’t wait to obtain my degree. So, what I did over the weekend was I took some time and I reassessed my goals and why I started my journey to achieve them in the first place.

I am a journalism major, and although I’ve always had a passion for writing, I didn’t always want to go into the journalism field. I mean, for the longest time I considered majoring in English and one day becoming an author. Well, when I was 17, an experience I was given the opportunity to have put into perspective for me exactly what I want to spend my life doing.

During my junior year of high school I was given the news that, after writing a series of essays and partaking in a round of interviews, I had landed a spot amongst 24 other U.S. high school students in a program called American Youth Leadership Program – Bangladesh (AYLPB). The main goal of the trip was to learn about the ways in which climate change has affected the impoverished country, which I did in fact learn a lot about, but I boarded the plane to go home with a lot more than just knowledge about that. I knew a lot more about myself.

When I first got there, I stepped off that plane as a terrified teenager. I looked around at the smog-filled, trash-lined streets, and shockingly crowded environment, and honestly did not know what I had gotten myself into. I didn’t know anything about the Bengali culture, or really anything about the Islamic culture either.

My knowledge of the world was limited to the diversity I encountered on the east side of St. Paul. Bangladesh was foreign territory…literally.

When I left, I remember having the overwhelming urge to want to share all of the stories that I had heard and the life circumstances that I had seen with as many people as I could. I thought that there were just too many untold stories of the things that were happening overseas that people were losing out by not hearing.

Thinking back now to the brainstorming that I did for about a week after my return, I feel a little silly. I mean, I was a high school student who was trying to reach out to leading newspapers like the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press to talk about the poverty, illness, defeat, hunger and all the other pressing issues that I saw taking place over there. While they are incredibly important, they aren’t typically newsworthy stories for local newspapers.

The issues that I wanted to talk about aren’t really the main thing here though; the thing is that I gained an appetite for telling stories in general. I wanted to be someone who provided other people with information. I realized that I wanted to be a journalist.

After thinking long and hard over the weekend, I’ve found that my motivation has been replenished. I guess you could say that, between the long hours at work and the lack of sleep I’m getting at home, I had lost my drive and forgotten my purpose for my education, but I’ve found it again.

Unfortunately, I can’t re-enroll in the classes that I stupidly dropped at the beginning of the semester, but I’m excited to thrive in the classes that I am still in. I think it’s completely normal to lose sight on the journeys that we embark on through life, and I’ve learned that all it takes is stepping back and reassessing the big picture to fully appreciate the desired end result that much more.