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Sincerely, Lori: Discovering your passion, people, and purpose

Your passion, people, and purpose form the foundation for developing your authentic self. Discovering these aspects is an exciting, personal, and transformative process. It is not a linear process, nor should it be viewed as a final destination. Rather, it is a continuous journey that extends throughout life. The college years are a special time in this journey, as students meet new people, are exposed to new ideas and ways of living, and experience many new “firsts.” Though this journey can feel like a long winding road with speed bumps and detours, Student Affairs is focused on guiding you in discovering one or more of these aspects through our resources, support services, and learning opportunities.

In Student Affairs, our vision is for students discover their passion, people, and purpose. But what exactly does that mean, and why is it important? Student development theories help us consider how students grow, develop, and form their identities. According to these frameworks students need opportunities to develop skills essential for success beyond academic learning in order to evolve into well-rounded individuals. Learning about who you are, who you want to love, and what you want to become are important and Student Affairs professionals are here to support you.

Passion and purpose

Passion brings you excitement, inner peace, or happiness. It’s what you love or feel strongly about, and you’ll find yourself talking, reading, working, and thinking about it, even during your free time. When you discover something you’re truly passionate about, you naturally become more engaged, motivated, and willing to invest effort for success. Purpose represents the why behind your actions—the driving force that gets you out of bed each morning and is often tied to making a meaningful contribution to the world. Finding your purpose puts you in a mindset of social responsibility and teaches you how to become a compassionate and goal-driven person.

Passion and purpose are deeply interconnected. Passions fuel your purpose, and your purpose gives meaning to your passions. When you uncover your passion and purpose, you will develop strengths, values, and goals, significantly contributing to personal growth and gaining a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you.

Your people

Your passion and purpose don’t just lead to a more fulfilling life; they also introduce you to a community where you truly belong. Having a sense of belonging is fundamental to becoming the best version of yourself. When you find a community where you feel you belong, you naturally engage, developing essential skills like teamwork, leadership, and critical thinking. Additionally, connecting with those who understand you creates a supportive environment where you are not only learning and growing together but also leaning on each other–sharing the ups and downs of college life. While having a space where you can be your true self and let your guard down is crucial for your well-being, it’s equally important to be open-minded and seek diverse perspectives that challenge you to see the world from different angles. These interactions provide valuable life lessons, from navigating conflict to expressing compassion—critical skills for navigating life and living in harmony with those whose life experiences, values, and opinions are different from your own.

As you embark on this exciting journey of self-discovery and growth, know that your unique blend of passion, people, and purpose will not only shape your college experience, but will also influence your life after graduation. So, whether you’re enjoying a fitness class at the Student Life Center, connecting with your community at the Women’s Resource Center, or contributing to service projects through the Bennion Center for Community Engagement, remember that Student Affairs is here to support you every step of the way. We’re committed to our vision because we believe the college experience is not merely about earning a degree; it’s about discovering you.