Feels: Doing Things For The Right Reason

By Sydney Mahl

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It’s no secret that life has become increasingly competitive.  Colleges accept fewer applicants and jobs are scarce.  It’s a rat race to see who can add the most to their resumes.


But what if we sat down and took a moment to wonder why we do the things we do?


In this competitive atmosphere, it has become more important than ever to separate ego and competition from desire and passion.  If you do something, be passionate about doing that activity.  Simply participating or applying for something only because it adds to a resume can cause us to lose sight of who we truly are.




There are times when I sit and wonder who I really am.  Those times are usually at 3 a.m. while trying to complete a “who are you?” essay question.  I find beauty in this question because of its fluidity. It can apply to a characteristic, achievement or occupation.


I could say that I am a scholar, a Longhorn and a journalist.  I’m fortunate say that I’m a happy person.


Recently, I turned down an amazing opportunity – no, I won’t say what it was.  What’s important is why I said, “Thank you, but no thank you.”  As I sat writing about who I am, I asked myself: am I doing this opportunity for the right reason?  What do I truly enjoy doing?  Am I doing those things?




I urge you to ask yourself those same questions.  If you’re not happy with the answers, pursue your passions.  UT has more than 1,300 student organizations, over 70 sororities and fraternities, hundreds of intramural sports and club teams, and more.  Join something you’re genuinely interested in and if you’re ever asked about it in an interview, that interest will show in your answer.


And if you’re a lucky person who already loves what they’re doing, I congratulate you for staying true to yourself in the age of competition.


Also, you should probably write a book or host a seminar.