By Anastasia Warren

Papers, scantrons, late nights.

We are in a world filled with “to-do’s.” Filled with people telling us what to do, how to do it, when to do it.

We are in a world filled with responsibilities and tasks. With class times, assignments and expectations.

While it is good — great, in fact, it is important to remember that it is not all.

And it shouldn’t be.

It is important to not lose yourself amid the day-to-day tasks involved with being a student — whether that is work, class, internships, clubs — we must always remember to practice our passions.

It is vital to have an outlet that transports you away from your worries and angst. It is vital to have something that you love that requires no sense of urgency or judgment.

I have been lucky enough to call dance one of my passions throughout my life. It is something that brings a feeling of familiarity and nostalgia to me more than anything else is able to.

I began dancing when I was around 3 years old. My mom took me to “The Nutcracker” as a toddler, and I was (so she says) enthralled by it — all of it. So from there, she put me in ballet and “the rest is history.”

As I grew and time went on, ballet became more and more important in my life.

Dance wasn’t a hobby. Dance wasn’t an extracurricular I did just because. Dance was my passion and my dream.

Hours were spent in class and rehearsals. Summers were spent on the East Coast at different professional training schools. Sacrifices were made, joy was had.

Along the way, I was told that I could, should and would be a professional ballet dancer. Some days, that is what I wanted with all of my heart. Others, it wasn’t at all.

Throughout my collegiate career at the University of Nevada, Reno I have struggled with keeping this passion present in my life. I have danced with the dance department as well as different companies in the area off and on.

What I can say for sure, is that I am the happiest when it is in my life.

But as I have grown I have realized that although it is a passion, it is not anymore my dream.

And that’s OK.

It’s OK that it’s not my end-all, but that it is a crucial part of my life.

So, what’s the point of this anecdotal rant?

To tell you to pursue your passions. To tell you to keep your hobbies and releases close. To tell you to remember that even if you are not pursuing something professionally, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have it in your life.

To look past the papers, scantrons and late nights (although those are important) — and to look into other things that you love, other things that will help you to grow.

Ace those tests, and practice your passions (life motto).

Anastasia Warren studies journalism. She can be reached at and on Twitter @TheSagebrush