Opinion: A reason to keep doing what makes you happy


Mike Richards is a senior English major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

Mike Richards

I’m going to assume that most of you who are reading this are currently students. As I know not all of you are, first of all thanks for reading, and secondly, just bear with me.

As I reach the end of my scholastic career, I feel a growing sense of dismay beginning to bear down on me: Perusing my transcript each and every semester to find what classes I have left and if I can sneak a wildcard class in for fun; heading back to Sallie Mae to see how much money I’ll need to beg for, while also seeing how much money I’ll owe back; trying to find time to balance my job, school, some extracurricular work, the occasional trip downtown to down some scotch that no one around is impressed by as everyone else drinks PBRs and watered down beverages.

I’m an English major who, like probably everyone else in the major, aspires for a career in writing. I’ll definitely have above the current average of about $30,000 of student loan debt (sorry mom, I should’ve warned you). My GPA is, well, garbage due to my lack of being proactive in my early years of college. I decided to take 22 credit hours this past summer, while also trying to balance 62 to 65 during a full year including that time. Who knows if it’ll be worth it?

But that’s okay. It really is. 

Through all of the petty work­— assignments that I know will probably not benefit me in my future— stress and lost sleep, I’ve enjoyed it. 

Hell, just think of James Franco. This guy is actually an inspiration (outside of his Instagram selfies which most of you probably know him most by). The man is an actor, author, poet, painter, director, teacher and much more. He took 62 credit hours a quarter at UCLA while still acting and received a 3.5 GPA. He has created books, movies and art available, and also teaches and acts. 

Now, I don’t believe I’m anywhere close to being the next James Franco (although I’m guilty of taking selfies on Instagram more often than I should), but outside of his persona, he’s a prime example of keeping busy and doing what he loves to do.

Here’s me being the boring motivator, everyone. 

I’m saying do what you want to do. Do what makes you feel as though you have purpose do what you want so generations after you to know you did. Do what you’d want to be seen on your obituary. I actually think of that last part. 

If you asked me if I’m worried that, because of my not-so-good grades, my debts and my knowing that I’ll have very strong competition that it would deter me from doing what I love, I’d say “you’re goddamn right” (but not as powerful as Walter White saying it). 

But if you asked if it would stop me, you would get a hearty “nah.” 

Get your experience in, because your work and personality will do you so much better than crying every day because you don’t have perfect grades. Show an interest and be attentive and do what makes you happy. 

Maybe one day you’ll read a novel of mine (or me of yours) and we’ll remember this little column together, and think of the “good” times.