Finding Your Passion

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, the Daily Deac is reflecting on some of the reasons we love Wake Forest.  Today’s reason is:

We help students discover their passions – sometimes ones they didn’t even know they had.

This can happen in a lot of ways.  One of them – hard as it may be for your students to believe – is through Divisional Requirements.  The liberal arts educational model at Wake Forest requires our students to sample classes within five broad classifications of human knowledge: the humanities, literature, the arts, social sciences, and math and natural sciences.  Within each of those division, students have the ability to choose (or avoid) departments in favor of other ones.  Sometimes when a student tries a class in a department he/she didn’t have access to in high school – philosophy, anthropology, Russian, whatever’s your pleasure – that student finds that he/she is really interested and inspired.

One of my fondest memories as an academic adviser was to watch one of my students (now graduated) who decided to embark on a new language for his language requirement.  He chose Arabic because he was interested in the events in the Middle East, and ended up majoring in Political Science and becoming fluent in Arabic, studying in Jordan his junior year.  It was wonderful to watch him discover an interest in Arabic he never thought he had, and to see that manifest itself in a semester abroad.  He found an academic passion.

There are other students here who find volunteer passions.  Whether that is working with Project Pumpkin or the Volunteer Service Corps, or taking an International Service Trip or a Wake Alternative Break, they find impactful activities that help them grow even as they serve others.  This video was done a few years ago about the impact of international service trips, and these students tell their stories better than I ever could.

And while this generation tends to “date” less than mine or yours did, people do still find love at Wake Forest.  It may or may not last forever, but you do see students walking hand in hand or arms around each others’ shoulders on the Quad.  Interesting fact from the Alumni Office from last year: there were 8,643 WFU alumni married to alumni (about 10% of our alumni made what I call ‘advantageous marriages’).

Finally, we also help students discover their passion and help them explore how to live that out in their life in the world of work.  The Office of Personal and Career Development has been at the leading edge of helping students explore their talents, values, skills, and dreams so that they can leave Wake Forest poised to go to a job or graduate school that really suits them (instead of taking any job just because it is available).  You can see the year-by-year activities (buttons at the top of this web page) our students are encouraged to do via the OPCD to get an idea of some of the tools in the toolbox for them to use.

And for parents in Charlotte, NC, we cordially invite you to hear more about how we are helping students find their passion.  Andy Chan, Vice President for Personal and Career Development, is going to be speaking on Thursday, February 21st in Charlotte.  Here is a flyer about this OPCD Event in Charlotte with information about how to register.

Has your student found his or her passion yet?

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