Adapted from a College Essay

They say that in college, you’re supposed to discover your passion – the thing that drives you, that you love so much that you couldn’t ever see yourself not doing it. How do you know when you’ve found it? What makes a passion different from something you simply enjoy doing as a hobby or a pastime?

When I was around eleven years old, my family went to see the touring production of Wicked at the Kennedy Center. It was one of my first experiences with live theater. I was dazzled by the entire performance, but the moment of the show that will always stick out in my mind is the show-stopping number “Defying Gravity,” which marks the end of Act I. I spent the entire number on the edge of my seat, leaning over the railing of the terrace where we were sitting, absorbing it all with excitement. Then, at the end of the song, Elphaba rose, suspended in the air on a broom, and all of the music stopped for one brief moment as the actress belted out her final powerful note.

My mouth dropped open.

It was one of those moments you almost can’t describe; I was so filled with pure awe and amazement during those moments of the song that I couldn’t do anything except sit and gape. It’s a feeling I’ve experienced quite a few times in my life, and I’m sure others have as well. Your chest feels a little like there’s something swelling inside of it; you either feel like bursting into tears or leaping out of your seat and cheering elatedly. It could be something big or something small, but regardless, you know that it’s a liminal moment in your life; that from that moment on, you’ve crossed some sort of threshold, and your life will never really be the same again.

That’s what I believe it’s like to find your passion. I want to go out into the world and discover more of those moments – the heart-stopping, breathtaking occurrences that make you want to repeat them again and again. I first discovered that feeling at that performance of Wicked, diving headfirst into what has become a passion for musical theater, but I hope I never have to stop stumbling upon those moments again and again.

I have a lot of goals for college, and I know many of them, from my intended major to the activities I hope to join, will probably change. I know one thing will always stay constant: I seek to fill my life with those “Defying Gravity” moments, where everything in front of me is so fantastic that for a moment all I can do is sit and take it all in.

Post written by Isabella Diaz

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