It’s true that study abroad changes you. It’s also true that a good book will do the same. Put these two things together and kaboom! I feel like I’ve recently gained a piece of Yoda-inspired wisdom. I initially picked up a book as an easy, fun read to do on those rainy days; but it somehow tied into my abroad experience, my internship at Parliament, my major, and even my future…
It wasn’t a philosophy book. It’s called “The Monk and the Riddle” and it’s actually about an entrepreneur pitching to an investor. Then something in the middle caught me. Komisar defined it perfectly when he said that passion is what pulls you toward something while drive is what pushes you toward something. At first when I read this I was dumbstruck. Reading about the difference suddenly gave me clarity. Which made me kind of angry. Not at him, but at myself.
How long have I been pushing myself toward the “perfect” major? Toward getting good grades? Toward seizing every opportunity and getting leadership positions? Versus, how long did I spend actually being pulled toward something? I’ve always had a great drive and work ethic, but was rarely pulled by what I learned. Except global health. Looking back, learning about health inequalities, the poverty cycle, and lack of economic opportunities are the things that have pulled me toward the major I’m at now.
My timing could have been slightly better. It’s awful to think that I’ve spent a majority of my college career developing my drive rather than my passion. The truth is, I’ve only recently discovered my “pull”. When I first encountered global health, I knew I was drawn toward it, but there weren’t avenues for me to pursue it further. So it got pushed ahead of me as a long-term goal that I would run towards…eventually.
The main reason why I applied for the Scottish Parliament internship was to dive back into global health issues again. So far, it’s been the best decision I’ve made. I get work with people who are also passionate about making sure that every person has better access to healthcare. I see this as “global health” because the NHS is vastly different than our cocktail of private/public healthcare systems back at home. Making these comparisons have helped me better understand the complicated and difficult process of delivering policies. But it’s also shown me the dedication, and drive that stems from pursuing what you believe in (passion!). Will I continue to work with health issues in government? I’m not entirely sure. We’ll see what the rest of this year brings. Maybe another book and some new experiences will help me figure it out.
Senior year is fast approaching. I can finally describe and describe with confidence that my passion is engaging with people – to learn about their passions, what they want to do, but more than that, work with them – pool our resources together – to help build up other people. But why health? It’s an issue that I’ve had a personal relationship with during college. During finals season of my freshman year, I was struck with an illness that never fully left. But I found strength by connecting with other people (which isn’t easy to do when you’re dealing with an illness), and I wanted to help others do the same.
This upcoming fall, I am determined to find a way to bring people together. I feel like people may care about social causes but are never connected enough with the issue to invest their time into it. My goal is to find a way to bridge that gap through marketing. I just finalized my classes for this upcoming semester which is a combination of marketing, healthcare, and politics. For once, choosing my classes was easy. The hard part will be the 6 units worth of upper-level classes + everything else. But I will push forward and this time, push forward with a blossoming passion.