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Horn Entrepreneurship

Handing Over The Horn Series: A Passionate Pursuit

Throughout life, discovery is a constant. It's something that never goes away, it just evolves somehow. When you're young you discover you hate eating broccoli, when you're a preteen you discover how friendships change in middle school, when you're a teen you discover you like to dress in strictly neutral colors, then when you are a young adult in college you discover what global causes really matter to you. No matter how big or small there is always something to find out in life.

Discovering what you truly believe in is often a journey of self-exploration. For many, the journey begins with introspection, a deep dive into your mind to unveil the values and convictions that lie dormant within. Steps such as practicing self awareness, researching your interest, honing your skills, feeling on how things make you feel, and evaluating your relationships. 

A Path of Passion

Along with personal discovery, career goals can intertwine with this. It's easy to fall into the mindset of going after a path or career that makes only logical sense. You may care about if the field pays the best, or what your family expects you to go into, or the type of education you need. Those factors matter, usually listening to your heart can place you where you want and also need to be. Lots of people hear what their heart wants but don't listen. 

Senior Biomedical Engineering student, Hanna Armstrong shared her personal journey with passion and self discovery. Hanna learned how to hear and ultimately listen to her heart as well. 

“What has allowed me to find my passions was exploring opportunities because I thought they were interesting or fun. There, I was able to meet people who were passionate and able to introduce me to concepts that I would later become passionate about. What I find is that students often get stuck thinking about what they should do and end up not spending time on anything interesting and later on not being passionate about it, leaving them stuck and not knowing what direction to take in their self-discovery.”

It’s Not As Easy As It Sounds

But all this talk about self discovery and understanding oneself isn't as easy as it sounds. Yes, you may be able to recognize what you want but how do you bring yourself to pursue it? It might feel like taking a huge leap off a cliff, or taking a shot in the dark. And the truth is that sometimes, it just is. It is scary and daunting. 

“Just go for whatever it is you believe in. No matter if you succeed or fail it’s always better than to not try at all and end up regretting it,” by Mariah Monroe, a junior Mass Communication major and Legal Studies minor. 

Understanding yourself can help you ground yourself in what you want and need. That terrifying dive of changing your major, moving to a new state, or starting a business can be a tad bit more manageable when you make the effort to understand yourself. 

Mariah mentions that possibility of regretting what you could have done before. But fear of taking a leap is natural but fear can be displaced. Instead of fearing the leap of faith, fear the feeling of regret later if you don't take a chance.

"I believe in the power of taking a chance, whenever an opportunity arises it's easy to doubt your ability to succeed. Oftentimes, counting yourself out before you've even tried leads to more harm than good,” said Joshua Artis, senior Computer Science major. 

An Open Mind Opens Doors

Embracing the journey and being into the wild ride life will take you on is a key to fulfillment and success. You’ll find lots of barriers and roadblocks from other people so the one person that can be your main supporter is literally yourself. Why stand in the way of what you like and want to do? Joshua believes it's all a mindset. It's a switch you have to consciously flip.

 “Over the course of my college career I have learned to turn the pessimistic thoughts I've had into optimistic ones with a simple phrase 'what if.' what if I apply to this role, What if I get into this program, Would it allow me to reach my goals? How would I know if I didn't try. This thought process has taught me the importance of resilience and adaptability, essential qualities in an ever-changing world. Asking 'what If' for me didn't just open the door to new possibilities; it propelled me through it, setting the stage for a journey of continuous learning and self-discovery,” said Joshua.

Being open to the future is one part but also reevaluating the past is another. To understand yourself deeper you have to think about different versions of yourself. The kid who didn't like broccoli or the teen who tried to their fashion sense. Passion starts at an early age and just grows or evolves as time passes. A student like Thadeus understands the power in assessing and defining your past to better your future. 

“Well when it comes to passion a lot of people tend to speak about it in past tense, 'I was so passionate about being a sports player when I was younger', 'I was such a passionate dancer growing up', etc etc and I’d say in order to rekindle and define those passions you gotta look back on your life, same with learning about yourself,  when it comes to a good book you reread it to find and see things that you’ve missed…why not do that with the book of life,” said Thadeus Payne, freshman fine arts major. 

What Next?

After reading about such deep and soul searching stories and comments, life can feel a bit heavy and extra serious. And although things need to be serious at times, all this self discovery and understanding can sometimes be casual and come to you without even realizing. 

The journey of discovering what you believe in is not always straightforward. It is a balancing act on the line of certainty and doubt. It requires courage to confront the unknown, to embrace the discomfort of uncertainty, and to trust in the unfolding of your own truth.

About Horn Entrepreneurship

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement at the University of Delaware. Currently ranked among the best entrepreneurship programs in the US, Horn Entrepreneurship was built and is actively supported by successful entrepreneurs, empowering aspiring innovators as they pursue new ideas for a better world.

Topics: entrepreneurship, community, students