Think of your calling like a rope. When you’re a kid, you’re just a bunch of random strands. You like Legos, you like video games, you like finger paint. But over time (sometimes fast, sometimes slow) those strands break and fall away or else strengthen and wind together into one strong whole: your calling. The question is, what strands will build your rope?
For Morgan Aragon, dreams of becoming an Olympic swimmer or marine biologist led her to a snorkeling expedition in Maui where she saw a videographer capturing marine life, recording happy families in snorkel gear…and her chief passion was born: videography. She discovered her rope.
Now she’s majoring in film at Western State Colorado University in the tiny mountain town of Gunnison—a huge change for the So-Cal swimmer, but a change she loves because it’s all part of building the rope.
Are you still figuring out how your childhood dreams will weave into your true calling? Then you’ll find inspiration in Morgan’s story below.
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“I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer….”
Morgan, tell us how your childhood ambitions led you to pursue filmography.
When I was little, I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer or a marine biologist. I am currently swimming as a collegiate athlete and yes, I still love the ocean, but over time those dreams merged and grew into something new.
When I was in high school, I went snorkeling in Maui where I saw this videographer capturing marine life and taking pictures of the families snorkeling, and I realized I was really interested in film. So my swimming ability and my passion for the ocean led me to my dream career as a videographer!
What’s the biggest obstacle to pursuing videography? How do you plan to overcome this?
With thousands of photographers and filmmakers in the world, it will be a challenge to become a well-known filmmaker and make a living out of it. If you have a dream, no matter how many challenges are ahead, you can make it if you work hard. I believe God calls us to certain things and we just have to trust Him through every obstacle.
What career matches did you get on FYC?
My top three strengths were helper, creator, and persuader. Besides film, I am also very passionate about theater, swimming, surfing, journalism, Young Life, digital marketing, and public relations. So my career matches were all careers I would be interested in: counselor, technical writer, copy writer, set and exhibit designer, and audio-visual multimedia collections specialist.
How did you pick Western State Colorado University?
Searching for a college can be very stressful when you’re in high school! I was on my high school’s varsity swim team and I knew I wanted to go to a school where I could be on their swim team while studying film. I was recruited from Hendrix College in Arkansas, University of La Verne in California, and Western State Colorado University.
After visiting each school, I knew I was being called to Western. I chose it because of the communications program, the small-town feel, the beautiful campus, a scholarship offer to swim on their team, and the opportunity to experience a new state!
What are you majoring in?
I’m currently majoring in communications with an emphasis in film studies. After my second year, I found a passion for writing and added an English minor.
What are your three biggest fears about life during college? How are you overcoming them?
My biggest challenge has been adapting to the new environment. I come from a big city in Southern California, while Western is in a small mountain town in Colorado!
Another challenge is being confident in what I’m studying. Whenever certain courses make me question the program, I remember why I chose this major and I don’t let one course ruin my dreams.
Lastly, it’s easy to doubt my career goals and let other people shut them down. I just keep reminding myself why I started film in the first place!
What is the biggest mistake you see students make when choosing their career or college?
For athletes specifically, the challenge is NOT picking a school based purely on your sport! Even if you don’t have a dream career yet, at least find something you’re interested in and make sure your college offers the right program. Sports can be taken away in an instant due to injuries. So ask yourself: “Would I stay at this university even if I didn’t play sports?” If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t be at that college. Your degree comes first, sports second.
How would you encourage other students facing similar challenges as you?
If you’re facing homesickness or loneliness, my advice is to get involved in several different programs on campus. Not only am I on my swim team, I’m also in my school’s theater program, plus Young Life. It’s great to have a variety of people surrounding you with love and support.
What is the best thing about Find Your Calling?
FYC is a powerful resource for any young adult struggling to connect their passions to a dream career. Whether you’re in high school or college, FYC can help guide you to reach your full potential and use your unique strengths. I love FYC because it has shown me my strengths and given me the connections to find a job after college!
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