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Feeling Like you’ve Lost your Passion? You’re Not Alone.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I’ve been finding it hard to connect with my passions lately. These winter months are particularly notorious for making me feel listless and unengaged. It’s a slog of trying to finish all your papers and get through exams without breaking down (too much). I have always been pretty lucky in finding things that fulfill me, but every so often I go through phases where it feels like nothing can hold my attention or engage me. 

Unfortunately, learning is one of my passionate pursuits. I know, nerdy of me to say that school and learning are passions for me. They always have been, which is why I was so excited to be in classes about things that interest me and (should) ignite that spark and engage me. However I’ve been feeling disconnected from my learning, and it doesn’t bode well.

I work best when I’m actively engaged with and passionate about what I’m learning. I’ve been lucky to be taking classes in things I’m interested in, and that has been the guiding force behind most of my academic decisions. I think that’s the case for a lot of students in humanities and social science, with the elective room we’re given there’s no reason not to take classes that interest us. This is what makes it so hard to not feel engaged at school. If you’re distracted and falling asleep in classes you were so excited for two months ago, what does that say? What hope do you have for making it through another year of school?

School used to be what got me up in the morning, and now I find myself contemplating dropping out to start a flower farm in the country. Well, nothing that drastic. I know that I’m happy at university, and that I am very lucky to be here learning about things that inspire and challenge me. They just aren’t doing that right now. It’s a luxury to expect that school will always be engaging, but even when I was learning online I didn’t feel this disconnected. When faced with dull subject matter, I could impose a certain amount of excitement and joy into doing it. Nowadays I keep asking myself why I can’t do that anymore. I’m just waiting and hoping that the dissatisfaction passes.

Now, I’m writing this from the point of view of someone who has still hasn’t been able to re-ignite their passion. In writing it, I hope that someone else who has been feeling the same way knows that they’re not alone. It can be isolating to lose your motivation and drive, the spark that pulls you to things and keeps you going. As far as I know, the only way to remedy this disconnect is time. To seek out things that used to inspire and engage you and hope that something lights that spark again.

It’s hard to know that you’re not living up to your full potential and to feel like you’re stagnating. The best I can say is to chase those things you feel a deep and burning passion for, those moments when you feel engaged and fulfilled. It’s such a fleeting thing right now, and if you’re someone who is driven by passion and fulfillment it’s really hard to feel like you’re fighting to find it. Know that even if you chase it and can’t get it back, it’s okay, you’ll find it again. Sometimes these dry patches feel like they last forever, but they won’t.

Sierra is a second-year student at UVic, studying philosophy, sociology and all things human. When she's not studying, she loves finding new recipes, spending time outdoors, watching crime dramas and roaming the aisles of used bookstores.
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