Latest News

Passion vs. Pressure

Photo of Sue Edwards, outdoors without a face mask


Alissa McNeilis had to face the music.

Since she was 6 years old, she practiced and played her violin for up to 50 hours a week because her parents wanted her to be a professional musician and she wanted to please mom and dad. By the time she turned 18, she realized music was no longer her passion.  

“When not only you, but other people like teachers, counselors and even your family are telling you that you’re only good at one thing, so you need to focus on it, that is what forced me to push myself to stay in this field,” McNeilis, a junior at Wright State University said. “Especially being young, not even 18 yet, and having your whole life set up for you in that way, it was not fair.” 

Her story is all too common these days as students, employees and people of all ages try to resolve the conflict between passion and pressure and how it manifests into their life choices. 

The average person will spend over 90,000 hours at work in a lifetime. However, surveys show only 20 percent of U.S employees are passionate about their job.  

That dynamic currently plays out in the job market all across the country, as younger workers are quitting their jobs in record numbers, in part, because they’re not passionate about what they do.

Student reporters at Wright State University spent the fall 2021 semester examining the pressure versus passion dynamic. The four-month project will tell tales of college students, families and businesses all struggling with whether they should do what they want in life or what others feel they should do to be successful. The stories appeared in The Wright State Guardian in the form of articles, and talk shows, podcasts and an ebook.



A collaboration between

COM 3660 Advanced Media Writing

Verified by MonsterInsights