Finding your passion(s)

Like a lot of college students, Natalie Pita believes in finding her passion — but she’s taking a pluralistic approach. 

“I’m very passionate about everything I get involved with,” says Pita, a sophomore majoring in international business, economics and Spanish and minoring in dance and public relations. “I have so many passions that it’s hard to say ‘No’ when different opportunities come along.”

A peek at Pita’s current resume confirms her reluctance to decline opportunity. She’s the 2014-15 news editor for The Daily Gamecock; organizer for the Last Lecture Series; a student lobbyist for the Student Congressional Advisory Board and the Student Legislative Advisory Board; a peer mentor to McNair and Carolina Scholars (she’s a McNair Scholar from Richmond, Va.); and a member of the student leadership team at First Baptist Church. She’s also one of 24 Carolina Leadership Scholars in 2014-15.

When she’s back home in Richmond, she volunteers at the Richmond County Justice Center where she helps translate documents into Spanish and works with inmates who are trying to overcome addictions.

She completed two courses during a study abroad in Spain last summer. She’s also planning to compete for a Fulbright Scholarship and is weighing a decision to pursue a Truman Scholarship.

Pita says she’s not merely checking off a list of undergraduate accomplishments as she sets her sights on law school after graduation.

“I think you should enjoy the things you do so much that they don’t feel like work. What I’ve found is that it’s easier to feel passionate about something if you’re helping others in some way,” she says.

Along the way, she’s made room for a little fun — ballet dancing, rock climbing, Pilates and yoga top the list — but she’s serious about making the most of her time at Carolina. And she encourages the freshman Carolina and McNair Scholars whom she meets with regularly to do the same.

“You have only four years as an undergraduate,” Pita says, “and it goes by fast.”

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