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Published February 1st, 2012
Consider This! Time + Passion=Choice?
By Steven Zhou
Steven Zhou on the air

Given that we all have exactly 86,400 seconds in a day, how do we know where to invest our hours?
For teenagers, making choices and focusing is the sum total of our 1440 minutes. Whether you are a middle schooler choosing classes, a high school senior applying to colleges or a university sophomore declaring your major, prioritizing time is key.
In a recent episode of our Moraga based international teen radio show, Express Yourself!, we interviewed a former Campolindo High School student who knew exactly how he wanted to spend his time. Michael Chickering transferred to the Interlochen Arts Academy boarding school in Michigan to study video production. Although Chickering had studied video at Campolindo, he wanted to immerse himself in the craft without Lamorinda distractions. He is pursuing his passion while learning from accomplished stars such as the special effects producer of the Star Wars films.
Michael's a normal teenager like us but the difference is that he recognized his gifts early and took the necessary steps to chase his dreams. He's not alone; many students are specializing. Co-chair of the Orinda Teen Advisory Council, Alex Glazer, shared her experience on air about attending a full immersion product development camp where she gained marketing skills that will enhance her communications and business career goals. Seventeen-year-old Brian Lee volunteers with San Francisco Smiles, a charity that supports other charities. He is inspired by non-profits helping one another. Courtney Tran, the voice on our theme song, invests her extra hours creating and recording a piano series for a local organization as she works at becoming a music producer.
Understandably, the hardest part for us teens is deciding where to dedicate our efforts. When we asked experts on our radio program such as author Brooks Olbrys, whose book Blue Ocean Bob inspires children to find a purpose, and education consultant Donna Zilkha, who helps incoming college students make tough decisions about what to study, the answer was clear: it didn't matter as long as you steer towards your strengths. Whether you are interested in music, video, business, farming, or engineering, there is no single right answer. Choose a field that grabs you, then go for it.
Miramonte senior Olivia Wung runs because it relieves stress, boosts her energy, and makes her happier. Running may not be a career move, but it keeps her healthy while she thinks about her future. As for me, I am immensely attracted to rather mundane office duties because I'm task-oriented in my quest to find ways to complete a job in the quickest and most effective manner. Although I am co-host of Express Yourself!, I spend the majority of my time in administrative roles, which is the professional direction that attracts me.
The next time you're faced with a decision in choosing a class, an extracurricular activity, or a job, don't freak out about whether or not it's the right one. As long as you have an interest in the topic and the dedication to put in the time, the formula of time plus passion will land you at the next level, which could become your career choice.
Steven Zhou, a senior at Miramonte High School, is the administrator and co-host of the international teen radio program, Express Yourself!
Teen Scene is YOUR voice. If you have something to say or have writing skills and want to be part of our Teen Scene team, email our Teen Coach, Cynthia Brian, Cynthia@CynthiaBrian.com.

The opinions expressed in Teen Scene are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Lamorinda Weekly.

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