Chat with Nat

Enthusiasm isn’t something to be ashamed of


When you hear the words “passionate,” “excited” or “enthusiastic,” what comes to mind? For me, the image of a person devoted to a cause or an interest floods my mind. But if I were to replace the reason for this enthusiasm with something like golfing or writing analysis essays, the image would be tainted with embarrassment. 

People tend to assign validity to an interest based on a subjective social value. An Oscar award winning actor has earned their respect through accolades, but a high school student starting out is just another theater nerd. Loving math is weird until you are putting your skills to use in a career or a chemistry class. A “fan-girl” is just crazily obsessed until the artist is mainstream and it’s “cool” to like them.

The list goes on and on and on. People can’t have a love for something without having equal justification. 

The idea that you have to hide your interests painfully reminds me of middle school. To “fit in” was everything, and in order to blend in with everyone else you have to let go of your dividing personal traits. I know when I was in middle school, I was wearing a fake mask to fit in with the monolith of the people around me.

 High school is our redemption era, it’s quite frankly a bit immature to still shame people for their enthusiasm. Being excited about things enriches our lives. Having interests can create community with people who have the same ones. 

I know this message has been said before, in fact it even parallels a recent sentiment from Taylor Swift in her speech when she received an honorary doctorate at NYU this spring. In this speech she said, “I’m a big advocate for not hiding your enthusiasm in things… effortlessness is a myth.” And this quote perfectly encapsulates my point. 

Being nonchalant is a facade. Enthusiasm and interests are a part of everyone and your expression should not be dictated by how people will perceive you because of them.