As a college student, it is important to find a passion to explore outside of your major. School is stressful. It is nearly impossible to be a full-time student, manage a social life, and navigate early adulthood. Therefore, it is crucial to find a healthy balance between academics and everything else. It can be hard to figure out a way to fulfill our responsibilities and commitments without driving ourselves crazy. This is why cultivating a passion can be extremely beneficial.
Having a passion is the underrated key to success in college. It is a great way to destress and take a break from academics while continuing to stay motivated and focused. Students who focus solely on their academics and careers have a high probability of burning out. Especially at a school like USC, where there is a heavy emphasis placed on career preparation, it is crucial to get away from academics occasionally.
I was lucky enough to stumble into my passion early on in college. My outlet for stress since freshman year has been salsa dancing. I’ve met a lot of people through salsa and made many fond memories of times dancing with friends. It has made my life fulfilling.
Everyone enters freshmen year of college with a mixture of anticipation and apprehension – I was no different. Growing up as an international student, transferring from school to school in itself wasn’t as intimidating as knowing it would take a while to integrate into the already-established friend groups in the school. So when I entered USC, I put all my hopes into the Fall Semester Involvement Fair, wishing for an organization that would catch my eye and help me find a group of people with common interests. Out of all the clubs and activities I joined, Dance-Off was the one I had least expectations for, but it is not an exaggeration to say it was the one that changed my life.
KASA Dance-Off is a competition for fall semester freshmen dancers with all levels of experience. As someone who never danced hip-hop before, I went to the first dance workshop with no intention of staying for the rest of the semester. But the passionate and family-oriented atmosphere that surrounded me when I danced with this group of people drew me in, and before I knew it, I was looking forward to the workshops every week. Of course, it was tough – two weeks before competition we practiced dance more than we did anything else, including sleeping and eating. But ultimately, our success during the competition, and the bonding and friendship that came out of the hours and hours of practice and “suffering” were worth it.
Having just moved to Los Angeles from Toronto, I was looking forward to all the American-style road trips I would have during my summer vacation. Of the ones I went on, the most memorable trip was my get-away to the Electric Daisy Carnival (aka EDC), an epic three day music and performance-driven extravaganza located at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The annual EDC features all sorts of entertainment, from Electronica music to carnival rides to circus-like performances to interactive art installations. On top of witnessing a visually spectacular scene, from the moment you walk in, you are surrounded by and fully immersed in the Electronica music culture from which EDC originally emerged – the principle of P.L.U.R (Peace, Love, Unity and Respect). With that said, EDC was beyond my expectations. 35,000 people attended this music celebration, taking over the Las Vegas Strip during the day and the Motor Speedway at night.