20 Jul 2016

Passion vs. Reason: Making the Right Choice

Deciding on a discipline to pursue in university is perhaps one of the most important decisions you would have to make. Not only will it have lasting consequences if not properly decided upon, but it will affect your career path.

For those who are lucky enough to find their niche in a discipline, which offers a stable career progression and stable income, brilliant. However, for those whose interest and passion may not entail career stability or income, here are some factors to help you re-evaluate your choices before plunging head first.

For Passion
More often than not, you tend to excel and are more likely to succeed at something if you are driven. Take being intrigued by numbers for example. You will be able to understand formulas faster and will put in that extra effort to break that mathematical enigma because of your interest. More effort on all fronts would be given, as compared to someone who is not as passionate about the discipline.

When pursuing a discipline you are passionate about, work will be seemingly easier to bear – even with added stress. It would be a double win if the discipline entails career progression and financial stability. However, if you happen to be on the other side of the fence, it might be best to ask: How much am I willing to sacrifice? How strongly do I really feel for this discipline?

For Reason
From the perspective of a realist, your education is a form of investment. One that requires at least four years of your time, a great deal of effort and a significant amount of money. As an investment, the degree you are working toward is expected to assist you in both career progression and income generation.

Do not confuse excelling in a discipline with being passionate about it, and vice versa. Since this is an investment, play to your strengths and build on it, and let your passions (which lack career progression or financial stability) take a slight back seat.

Last but not least, do your due diligence and talk to seniors to gain more perspectives. Take advice with a pinch of salt, and try not to let authoritative figures influence your personal choice – as you alone would be bearing the consequences, if any.

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