Academic Self-Discovery: Learning to Fly

“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.”- Friedrich Nietzsche. I first read this quote my freshmen year of college and I understood it to mean that certain things take time and patience. Reading it now, I see it as one having to take multiple steps to reach whatever goal they have. Like Drake states, “we started from the bottom”. It can take time when you do not know what career choice is right for you and it can feel as if you’re running out of time when everyone else has it figured out. That is how it felt for me.

I have felt as if I wasted time in figuring out what I wanted to major in but thinking about it now I think I needed that time. It made me grow as a student. It helped me realize what classes I enjoyed and what classes I disliked which made me question if that major was the right one for me. What I had to learn was to focus on my own path instead of comparing myself to others and also explore just what occupations caught my interest. That is why I find it important to explore careers that intrigue me. That could mean taking classes on it or doing an internship because then I would actually get a feel for that job and see if I still like it.

For me, back in high school I wanted to explore music therapy because it was something different and not heard of which I thought was cool. I had looked up the field, the requirements and even spoke on the phone with a music therapist. The career was about having a way to heal others through the form of music. At that time I had recalled the ways music influenced my moods and outlook. If I was trying to motivate myself I would listen to something upbeat with encouraging lyrics. If I wanted to calm down I would listen to something soothing and if I was upset I would find songs that I felt communicated that emotion. The way music can touch others was just amazing to me and to find a career that applied it to treat patients that struggled with physical, emotional, and mental difficulties seemed like the right path for me.

I changed my mind later on as I mentioned in my last post. The reason for this could have been because I did not know how to play an instrument or that I realized I’m not that good of a singer. However, it was because of this exploration of music therapy that made me interested in physical therapy. Though physical therapy is more about helping patients with injuries and physical disabilities learn how to move and function, it is similar to music therapy in the sense of what mindset and attitude is necessary in treating the patient. They are both about compassion and encouragement. My next step in exploring this career path is to find an internship or volunteer to actually see how I would enjoy being in the environment of a physical therapist.

In my opinion, exploring different career paths is a great way for people going through academic self-discovery to broaden their ideas and interest in hopes of getting closer to the career that suits them. Explore.

4 thoughts on “Academic Self-Discovery: Learning to Fly

  1. Great piece! I’m in my early 20s and I just realized what I want to do only a few years ago. My mom is in her 50s and although she’s happy, she still doesn’t know her passion. She says it doesn’t frustrate her, she just has to keep searching. I think everyone lives life at their own pace and discovers themselves at different times.

    • Thank you. I completely agree that everyone moves at “their own pace” in life. Like I mentioned in this post, feeling as if I was behind my peers in figuring out my future career plan was the major issue I had. Yet I’ve come to realize that there is no rush, which has made it easier to breathe. What I feel really matters is the determination one has to make it once finding that passion and the learning experiences upon getting to that dream career. I really hope your mother figures out her passion though.

  2. I definitely agree that it does take some much longer to figure out what their “passion” or “career path” may be. As you mentioned, internships are vital ways to confirming your passion since it is a “taste” of you working in that field. Your dedication will take you a very long way. Remember to never give up and keep trying!

    • Thank you for reading and for the kind words of encouragement. I find it comforting that there is no real age limit or timing to knowing the right career choice. Wanting to find a field that incorporates passion and brings happiness is what I feel most individuals search for. It is what I think will push me to continue if I ever feel like giving up. Once again, thank you.

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