The Major Question

If the stressors for a college student weren’t already half-hazardous to our burgeoning minds, I’d say the even greater challenge of finding a major is the needle in the haystack. That needle is embedded deeply within the stack of prickly dried grass—which, by the way, has been set on fire with a stone barrier and a moat full of crocodiles surrounding it. But good luck grabbing it.

Even when we come out of the haystack, we realize that what we thought was the needle, was actually a piece of the beige grass. It’s not what we wanted; nor is it what we expected it to be. So, we must jump back into the fray and start our journey again.

When we are in our early years of adolescence, and asked of what we want to be when we grow up—the question seemed quite easily answered. But it was also ever-changing. First, I was determined to be a teacher. Then (thanks to all the aunts and family whispering into my ear), I wanted to be a doctor. After a while I decided I would be a teacher that taught people how to become doctors. I threw all of that out the window when I wanted to be a combination of a spy and a superhero. Then, when college started, I was determined to be some sort of engineer. Yeah, I still laugh and shake my head at that one even now (though I’m still waiting for the superpowers to kick in).

The point is, no matter what I decided, I never actually thought of what I was good at or what would make me happy. I was influenced by society of what I should become, but they were just words I echoed and easily spoke aloud. But what I wanted to do all along, was something I found challenging to admit.


Because when you want to follow your dreams, or feel so passionately about something inside of you, it becomes an extension of who you are. And sometimes, it’s a bit terrifying exposing yourself to the world.

I finally realized after a long battle with myself, that I wasn’t going to waste this life or the potential I feel empowering me every time I write. My words may not always make sense, my thoughts can sometimes appear convoluted, and becoming a writer who stands out amongst seven billion people in the world seems downright mad.

But sometimes, such insanity is what fuels me to believe that I can do it.

And as long as I believe in myself, I care for nothing else that tries to undermine my determination to succeed.

The major question isn’t what you should do that other people already are; it’s what you should do to follow your heart.

Because in this day and age, with seven billion people in the world–becoming someone is no longer about trying to be like everyone else. It’s about following the passion that sets you apart.

I realized at the end of the day, that everything I wanted to be—a doctor, a superhero, a teacher—was because I wanted to help people. And now, through my writing, I truly hope I can.

-Kiran Bains Sahota


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