irvin-85“Don’t do what you like, do what you love.”

Those were the words of a wise senior whose name I do not remember since I heard him speak during the first hours I was here at Dartmouth. During that time of confusion, uncertainty and excitement, I did not allow the words to sink in and for my mind to discern the meaning of that phrase. The fact that I did not truly grasp the meaning of this phrase might explain why my plans of being an engineer made a back-door exit, following close by went my back up option of being a math major. Back in fall term, which to be honest seems like centuries ago, I was bursting with excitement of finally taking classes that I liked such as higher level calculus. I did not let a bad final exam grade deter me from what I thought I wanted to be since that is what I liked to do, doing math for fun. Maybe physics will be better, I thought as a way of justifying my decision to continue on the engineering track despite my bad experience with math. Physics was a mess. After hours of silent contemplation and asking myself why I was frustrated with subjects that I liked, the words of that senior came to mind. He was so right. I was doing what I liked, not what I loved. When I spoke about math, I did not say “I love math!” Rather, what I would say would be “I like math, it’s fun.”

When I was asked about how my classes were going during winter term, I would say that I hated, hated deeply my physics class but I loved my completely-overwhelming-engaging-hard writing class with a passion. Boom. Right there. It clicked. The reason behind my frustration with math and physics was because I liked those classes, I did not love them. Yet, with my writing class, it was different. Despite being time consuming and being the hardest class I have ever taken, I was not frustrated with the workload. Rather, I enjoyed it. I could honestly say that loving my writing class made all the work seem bearable and enjoyable. My hate for physics did not help at all with my frustration towards it.

The reason why I bring this up on this blog is because some of you might be choosing classes for your first semester/term of college. Think about these classes very, very carefully. Although it is true that you want to explore, make sure that you pick classes that you are truly interested in. It will make an enormous difference when it comes to studying for that class. Had a horrible experience with chemistry in high school? If so, maybe a higher level chemistry class during your first term of college might not be the best idea. Do you dislike writing papers? If so, maybe a study of Plato and Socrates might not be the road you want to take. Be careful of the choices you make because they will determine how your semester/term will go. I would like to add that there is nothing wrong with dropping a class or dropping a major all together. I did. And now I am as happy as I could be since I get to take classes that I love.

I wish there was an equation that would tell you what your passion is. Any chemistry majors out there? Maybe you guys can help!


Those who are on summer break already, enjoy. I still have 15 days of classes, but hey, these are classes that I love so I kind of don’t want the term to end haha.