Guest blogger: Peer Coach Mary Oehlke
People seem to talk about passions in high school as if they are a constant in people’s lives, when in my life, they are anything but. If someone were to ask me what my passions were in an interview, I would lie to appear confident. I participate in activities, and I enjoy doing lots of things, but passion is defined as a barely controllable emotion towards something. I don’t think I am overwhelmed by emotion with any of my hobbies, and that’s not a bad thing. If I really think about it, I would have to say I am passionate about learning new things. And that I am passionate about the pursuit of hobbies rather than the hobbies themselves.
When I was eight, I woke up one day and told myself that I was going to teach myself to juggle. I started with kleenex. Once I got good enough I bought juggling scarves. A day later, I had that mastered so I told my father to drive me to the mall so I could get real juggling balls. A week later, I could juggle while walking forward with my eyes were closed. The next step was juggling clubs. When we went to get them, my dad saw that they had juggling clubs that you could dip in kerosene to light on fire while juggling. Needless to say, that was when my dad decided that my progressing juggling career was to come to a stop. It was time to look for a new hobby.
It wasn’t until 9th grade when I found my new obsession, and this hobby will stay with me for the rest of my life. Trap Shooting is the closest hobby I have that could be considered a passion. When I first started on the Buffalo High School Spring Trap Shooting Team, I wasn’t naturally good, but every time I shot, it felt good. During that season, I never felt bad about how good or bad I shot. I enjoyed the game so much the score didn’t matter.
Now that I am older and more competitive with my shooting, I do get frustrated when I have bad rounds, but I never regret shooting a round no matter how badly it goes. I think that speaks volumes about how much trap shooting means to me. I’m not sure what exactly the appeal is, if it’s the power of the shot gun against my shoulder, or the game of never really knowing where the target could go. No two rounds of trap are the same because of the wind and sun and clouds. If you forget about the physical factors of the game, there are still plenty of mental aspects that can completely throw a shooter off their game. The ability to beat your own thoughts in a game of mental strength is the most mesmerizing part of the game for me currently. I am certain trap shooting will stay a big part of life for as long as I am able to do it.
In college I hope to discover things that I am passionate about mostly because I am an undecided major. I love trap but there isn’t a career there. I do worry that I will go to college for a year and still not know what I want to do, but that is a risk I am taking to be able to explore other areas of interest. These next 18 months of my life are almost solely dedicated to me trying to figure out what I want to do with my life because the pursuit of passions, unfortunately, doesn’t pay the bills.