As we step into the new year, it's the perfect time to set our sights on exciting endeavours and personal growth. You might not have heard of a 'passion project' before but after reading this blog post, you might consider bringing one to life.
We all have something we’re passionate about: it might be baking, cooking, a sport, a book, a TV series, a science project - the list is quite literally endless…
A passion project is an opportunity for you to delve deep into whatever it is that excites you the most. It’s a chance to dedicate yourself to a long-term project and share your area of interest with the world.
Why embark on a passion project in the first place?
It’s January, and if you’re like most people, you’re probably thinking about setting yourself some goals and New Year’s resolutions. The start of the year is the perfect time to start a project - especially if it aligns with your goals. If you’re looking to try something new and gain a whole host of skills (because you will) a passion project is a great place to start.
Why are passion projects important?
Firstly, sharing a part of yourself with the world can be incredibly gratifying and you might not realize it until much later, but you could end up creating a substantial impact if you take it seriously enough. Not to mention, passion projects are excellent additions to a UCAS application or CV if they link to your professional or academic goals.
So… how do you create one?
There’s no real, concrete answer to that. But, I can give you a few pointers to get you started. The first thing you’ll need to do is brainstorm. Have a good old think about the things that move you. What is something that you can see yourself spending the next 6 months building, growing, and dedicating your time and energy to? For me, I opted to start a candle business. I’d always wanted to start a business and I bought loads of candles so it seemed like a fun project to take on.
Once you’ve figured that out you then need to make a plan. Your plan should have the perfect balance of being achievable, ambitious, and focused. SMART targets are an excellent place to start. If you aren’t familiar with it SMART targets are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This will help keep you on track and ensure that your project has direction. In my case, I set out to make 3 types of scented candles and a simple website and gave myself 6 months to do so.
Get a team. Or, find a community. One of the best parts about starting a passion project is that you’re bound to meet new people. If you decide to start something entrepreneurial or maybe organize a campaign, having people to collaborate with can make a world of difference. It gives you the chance to learn alongside others, divide up tasks, and create your team! Alternatively, if your project is to start writing, for example, you might find that this seemingly solitary activity can help you find a new community. Sharing your work with family, and friends, or via the internet can be a great way to hold you accountable and keep you motivated.
One final thing, be prepared for things to go sideways (they almost always do). Passion projects, especially if it’s your first, can be seriously tricky! Nothing new comes easy and there will be challenges. Perhaps your cakes get burned or your science project fails to get accurate results. Even if the outcome isn’t what you intended, it’s still worth giving it a shot. You’ll learn an unbelievable amount about yourself, the world, and what inspires you*.
*FYI: the candle business didn’t work out in the end. After selling my first batch, I realized it wasn’t for me. And, to be honest I gained more from that than I would if I hadn’t tried it out in the first place.
If after reading this you’ve decided to give one a try I wish you the best of luck for both the new project and the new year!
Tiffany Igharoro is a sixth form student. One of her favourite pastimes is writing as it helps her organise her thoughts creatively and dynamically. She has won awards and prizes for poetry, academic and scientific writing and short stories. Recently, she won a nationwide historical essay competition that opened her eyes to the importance of how things are told, and the impact ordinary people have on the world. She studied art GCSE and believes there is something incredible about finding links between drama, art and maths.
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