Hey! How are you? Oh my god I am so excited I just have to tell you about this…” Okay, just stop there, you honestly just need to step it down a notch…”


Have you ever had that? You’re so excited to tell someone about something in your day, a new development in some gossip that you just find funny, something on your favourite topic comes up and you’re just dying to tell someone and they… Don’t care? They don’t want to hear it? Yeah… Samesies!


Welcome to the world of people who will dampen your light and passion.


It kind of sucks, hey? So today it hit home (again) that sometimes I am too passionate.


It occurred to me when I was in a human bioscience class of all things, and was classified as an “older student” because I’m repeating and I’m 21. Yeah, I thought the same. But that’s another story for another day of being the “older student” amongst 17 and 18 year olds at uni even though you’re only 21.


Getting back to the topic at hand. I was in this first year human bioscience course, and I joined this group of girls for lab work. I told them that I knew some things from the first time I did the course but definitely not all things, because I actually missed like half the classes, so I was very aware that I didn’t know EVERYTHING. In saying that, I did know some things. What’s this? Oh, it’s the clavicle, and that there is the acromioclavicular joint, because this is this and that is that. Like, I knew that, and I tried to explain why I did and not overtake the whole lab group.


We were then drawing on the white board and I actually really like drawing, especially bones and looking at the ‘boarders’ and where the points of knowledge are. Sadly even now, as I’m writing I realise I’m trying to downplay what I do because I got too “passionate”. Anyway, I drew up this drawing of bones and whatever, and the girls seemed impressed? I thought to myself that now everyone can label, and we can take turns figuring things out but no… I was wrong. Every time I tried to pass off the pen, I was just met with disgust. I was trying to prompt everyone because NO ONE was saying ANYTHING. I really thought that I was just trying to facilitate the group learning and be a part of the group.


Next week, I walk up to the girls and ask them, “Hey, can I join you guys again, because I really don’t know anyone else” and oh boy, the looks I was met with. I could see the “top” girl look at her minions and her face said it all. I honestly felt gobsmacked and quickly said “if that’s okay? If you don’t want me to talk or just stand back I will” and they just muttered “Oh… um.. we just think that because you’ve already done this before and umm know some things and have a different learning style, we just didn’t learn anything last week and yeah…”




I ended up still walking in with them, so freaking awkwardly, just thinking to myself ‘What did I do wrong?’. And then it hit me. Was I too passionate?


So, now, I had some time to reflect, and I thought I’d share just exactly what I think.


I’m a student, I’m studying Occupational Therapy (OT), have a history of Nursing as well, and I want to help people. Shouldn’t I be passionate? My passion is OT, learning how both Nursing and Occupational Therapy play major roles in a person’s care and how we can make a person’s outcome so much better. Why shouldn’t I be passionate about a class that I finally get to be in and learn?! It was my chance to finally understand what I couldn’t last time.


I also wanted to note something about being passionate and having people dampen your light: There will be people who are going to want you to shine, stand out, and hear about your passions! I’m lucky enough to say that I have found that. There are just a few people, who will actually ask “So how is your degree going? What are you learning in this?” and ask me more questions! Like “So how do physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists work together? What is so different?” Can you believe it?! People want to listen and hear about what I’m doing AND get excited for me!


I still reflect back on that moment in the lab, where I was pushed out of my group for being excited to learn and have a passion. I think about the girls in there, and how I really thought I had connected with them. It does make me sad that not everyone likes me, people think I’m too much, and I have to downplay who I am to seem more acceptable. It does hurt, and it will probably happen again, I can almost guarantee it.


BUT, there are MY people, the ones that like me for being “too much” and like me for me, too passionate or not.


I hope from this that you find peace in knowing that you too can be passionate and that ultimately, it is okay, there will be people who like you for you.

Ivy-Rose Laidler

Ivy-Rose Laidler

Hey! My name is Ivy-Rose! I’m the student life columnist and contributor for the Opus mag! I love writing about life as a student, the societal expectations, and experiences that help us grow and shape us to who we are today – as individuals and a collective! When I’m not contributing to Opus, I’m helping out local charity organisations SHIBUI Services and What Were You Wearing as well as creating content!