Seek meaningful pursuits to fire up your soul

Seek+meaningful+pursuits+to+fire+up+your+soul

Cameryn Cass

For a while, I had a quote hanging over my bed. It read “be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” I think there’s a lot of truth, a lot of beauty to that quote. I think we often let fear cripple us; fear of the unknown, fear of failure. 

At college, it’s incredibly important to understand who you are as a person. After all, if you’re unsure of what you want, you’re looking at a lot of debt for little happiness. 

Your niche, your passion, could be anything. The possibilities are nearly infinite. Perhaps the sheer vastness of the choices limits us. It’s overwhelming to think about all the choices you have and what happens as a result of those choices, and the ripple effect it has on other decisions in life and where you end up.

But it’s okay to not find that passion at school. Hell, I guarantee there’s plenty of accountants who can’t stand their job, McDonald’s workers watching the clock, businessmen dreaming of vacation. 

I worked at a hot dog stand, with no air conditioning, for three summers straight. The point is, we don’t always work in jobs we love, and that’s okay. What’s important is what we do with our own time, with the things we really can control. 

Henry David Thoreau, an American poet, famously went into the woods and lived away from society to write and lead a meaningful life. Some people may find this crazy, an unimaginable feat, but I find it quite heroic. He wrote “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” I don’t think Thoreau is much of a pessimist for thinking this, but instead a realist. When he looked around him, he must’ve recognized people’s unhappiness. A lot of people around me seem to be unhappy, quietly desperate to find whatever it is that sets their soul on fire. Not everyone’s lucky enough to find it, but it’s the pursuit that’s meaningful. 

I’m not saying going into the woods and dropping out of society will open your eyes to a greater truth about yourself and the world, but I think sometimes removing yourself from the watchful eye of the public and stressful things that really don’t matter much can be a liberating way to look inwardly at yourself to discover what it is you want. 

I remember when I first moved to Marquette this fall, I was overcome with the excitement of change. When classes started and I became plagued with homesickness, I grew overwhelmed. Home is seven hours from here, but it’s not that I wanted to go home; I was overwhelmed with all the changes at once, as I’m sure many freshman are. I’d been waiting to escape high school and start over at college for a while, so I decided to start meditating as a way to reconnect with myself. Focusing on my breath, and only my breath, allowed me to let everything else go and be at peace with myself. Meditation, among other things, is how I adapt to all the changes and pressures life thrusts onto me. 

In times of stress and change, which all of us college students find ourselves in, we must find a way to adapt and overcome the fear to keep moving forward. 

Although the quote above my bed is hundreds of miles from here, I still carry its meaning with me every day. It helps remind me to try new things and to work on myself, going fearlessly into my future. 

Cameryn Cass is a freshman, undeclared major.