Advice with the Arts Editor: Navigating your life path


Student catching up on homework in the Healey Library. Photo by Hunter Berry (He/Him) / Mass Media Staff. 

Rena Weafer, Arts Editor

As a kid, I had a million different ways I wanted my life to go. One day I wanted to be an artist, another I wanted to be a veterinarian, and another I wanted to move to Paris and go into fashion. Every kid is like this, with huge dreams and no idea of how to get there.
As I got older, I started to plan out these dreams a little more. I thought I wanted to be an art therapist, so I researched school after school trying to find the perfect program. Through all these different career paths, I always circled back to majoring in English.
I wasn’t exactly sure what the plan for this degree would be or where it would take me, but it always loomed in the back of my mind as I searched through more “practical” jobs. However, the more jobs and majors I researched, the more majoring in English came to the forefront of my thoughts. I finally succumbed to the idea when coming to UMass Boston and I could not have made a better decision.
With every class I take, I fall more and more in love with the subject, the words, the stories, the varying perspectives, and I wonder how I could have ever considered anything else. Although I know exactly why I didn’t go with English originally. It was the idea that majoring in what I loved wouldn’t get me anywhere in life.
Mainly my dad was feeding this idea—sorry Dad—as he was telling me to pursue something math or science related. I was good at these subjects, but I would have been so miserable. I have always been a dreamer, and some may call me delusional, but there is nothing quite like doing what you love.
Yes, my career path might not bring as much money as a STEM-related path would, but I care more about my happiness than any material item. This may be a naive way of thinking, but at the end of my life, I will be happy with my decisions because of the joy this path brings me. It’s important to care about what you do and where your life is headed, and I pity people who don’t find fulfillment in their work.
If you haven’t found a passion that makes you happy, start with things you like doing. For me, I love learning anything and everything and talking about it, so I do that through writing—including this column.
I try to pick up every opportunity that comes along because you never know what connections you can make and people you can meet. This includes trying a variety of jobs. Who said you have to stick to one path your whole life? If you are indecisive like me, you can try one job for a little while and if you don’t like it, then you just cross it off your list and find another one. Of course, this is oversimplified because you can only fit so much into a newspaper article, but you get the idea.
When I think back to my childhood-self, I know she would be satisfied with where we are now. She always loved reading, and to think that is what she would be studying in college would definitely make her happy.
I hope that you have made your childhood self proud. Embrace your passions and be confident in your journey through life because you never know what’s in store.