I'm only 15! How do I find my "passion"?

Posted: May 28, 2017

I am a freshman, pretty soon sophomore high school student, I honestly don’t know what I like, I know it has something to do with software or something, but my question really is, how do I know if I like something, or I hate it, I know its a very stupid question to be asking, but I’m lost.

I’m going to assume you are asking this because you are looking forward to college applications, and someone told you that colleges want to know what you love. You’re right, finding your passion takes time and life experience, so it’s a bit ridiculous to expect teens to have already discovered their life’s work. I mean, I only figured out what I want to do when I grow up five years ago, when I was … 16? Haha

​​So, in terms of finding something you love enough to write about it for college apps, the only way to do this is to try a lot of things. 


Keep an open-mind and be willing to go outside your normal routine. When opportunities present themselves, take them.
 Is your school putting on a fundraiser of some sort? Get involved. Even if the cause is not inspiring to you, you may find that volunteering/working with people, fund-raising, getting out into the community, and/or making a difference do inspire. Is someone looking for a tutor in a subject you know well? Volunteer. You may discover a passion for teaching, or working with young (or adult or elderly or language-learning) students.

Are you a problem-solver? You don’t have to love education or public service to see a problem in your school or community and figure out how to fix it. One student recognized that the crowded halls at her school were causing kids to be late to class, and the crowds were caused by people on their phones. So she proposed a “texting lane” in the hallways, where the texters could stand still and the walkers could get where they were going.

Think about the classes you have taken or are taking now. What was it about your favorite classes that intrigued you? Would you like to go deeper into a historical time period or scientific concept? Would you like to do more creative writing or perhaps take music lessons? There are competitions for historical research, science fairs, magazines and newspapers that might accept poetry, many performance opportunities you could pursue.

What do you do for fun? How could you expand that activity? One student I worked with loved playing video games, so he proposed a video game review column to his local newspaper (when he was 15, coincidentally). His eventual college was so impressed, they mentioned the column when they were bragging on their new freshman class at the first day welcome assembly. Another student was intrigued by 3-D printing, so he taught himself how to use the software to create his own 3-D printed designs.

There are lots of things you can find that interest you enough to spend a significant amount of time doing them, if you look. You don’t have to find one single thing that you “love.” Just get out there and get interested in things.

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