If you know anything about me, it’s that my biggest passion in life is photography. It’s pretty uncommon to see me without my camera in my hand, and most of my friends have just accepted the fact that I am constantly taking photos of them. It’s not only something I truly love and never stop being excited about, it’s become a part of who I am. The skills that I’ve developed (haha film jokes) and the knowledge that I’ve obtained didn’t just come to me overnight. This is something I’ve immersed myself in for the past four or five years. It started out as just a hobby, but as time goes on and as I fall more and more in love with the art, I’ve realized that I don’t want it to be something I do on the side of a better paying job for the rest of my life. I want to continue doing what I’m passionate about, and I want to focus all of my time and energy into it to be the best that I can be.
Deciding to pursue photography comes with a lot of risks. And I’ve definitely questioned if this is the right decision. But personally, I would rather study what I love and spend my years in college and beyond focused on that than study something I’m less passionate about and always be regretting that I don’t have more time to do what I really want. I came to college to study what I love, and I’m still putting in just as much work and learning just as much as everyone else here. Yes, I do get some funny looks when I tell people I’m majoring in art. But I’m so lucky to have family and friends that support me in whatever I want to do.
So what happens after I graduate and leave the safety of the brick-lined walkways and bayside views that is Western Washington University? It’s uncertain. And yes, that does scare me a little. But it’s also thrilling to know I get to pursue whole-heartedly what I love. I know that being a photographer won’t make me a lot of money. That’s a hard fact to face in our profit-driven, wealth-obsessed society. But life is short, and you only get one shot, and I would rather live it from behind my camera than behind a desk.
So this is my challenge to you. Pursue what you love. Don’t settle for something just because you think it will make you more money than what you actually want to do. Don’t settle for something because it’s what someone else wants you to do. Don’t settle for something because it’s too late to go in a different direction. Stop making excuses and start living joyfully and passionately and pursuing what you want to do in life. Have faith in yourself and know that the process may be hard, but will ultimately be worth it.