How to follow your passion

This middle-schooler loves art. But is it a realistic career?

Don’t give up, advises our elder. He also offers a few tips on how to find the future that’s right for you.


Dear EWC:

Hey, so… I’m currently 15 years old and in 9th grade. In my country I have to make the decision to either continue going to a higher school or to specialize in a job and make an apprenticeship there. My grades are slipping low because of mental and physical health and I don’t know if I am able to do the entry exams to my continuing school. 

My teachers long ago lost interest in me and treat me like trash. I can’t talk to my parents because they don’t listen to me. They want me to continue doing school. But I found my passion. I love to do art. I love to do any sort of art; I can’t get enough of it. It’s what I would love to do that for the rest of my life but I also know that I wouldn’t be able to make a living off of it. 

Please help me, what would you do?


Papa-Smokey replies:

I would suggest you meet with a guidance/career counselor at the school you’re attending. These counselors are trained to help guide you with the kinds of decisions you mention. They may even be able to supply you with an aptitude survey to take, which may help focus in on your interests and skill sets/strengths.  

If you feel like your physical and mental health need attention, I would suggest you seek out the appropriate doctors/counselors who can help you take the necessary steps to improve your health.  Most likely if your health is suffering it will affect your perception of what others think of you, including teachers and parents.  

I would encourage you to spend time involved in your passion for art. During times when you are having health issues, it’s helpful to have an activity that makes you happy and which you enjoy. Over time you will be able to tell if you can make a living full or part time from your artwork. A good way to start would be to get the opinions of others and exhibit some of your artwork at craft shows or something similar to see if others are willing to pay for your art. 

You’re still very young so your artwork may continue developing over time. At the very least even if you can’t eventually make a living of it you’ll have a hobby you enjoy doing, which is important to maintain good mental health.

I hope these suggestions are helpful. Good luck!



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