I want to say “This institution encourages its students to hold onto their passions”

I felt like “hold onto” sounds odd. I mean the institution lets students keep their passions and doesn’t force them to give them up. Any advice,


3 Answers 3


If you wish to use hold on to as to maintain or sustain the quality of the student's passion, you might want to consider uphold

This institution encourages its students to uphold their passions

Wiktionary describes this word as:

To keep erect; to support; to sustain; to keep from falling

List of other alternatives:

  • maintain
  • sustain (if the 'institution' wants to assist the increase of the student's passion)
  • preserve
  • affirm (if the 'institution' wishes to support the student emotionally)
  • 1
    I would uphold an impersonal principle, but applying that to an interior passion feels strange to me. Oct 17, 2022 at 20:13

Alternatively embrace; hold on to is good though too.

She embraces diversity, and believes that all students should have an opportunity to contribute to music lessons.

According to Macmillan Dictionary, the most common collocations with ebrace are:

challenge, change, concept, diversity, ethos, idea, innovation, notion, opportunity, principle, technology

You should hold on to her, she's too good to lose to a competitor.
Cambridge Dictionary

  • 1
    You should explain why you think embrace is the best option. Oct 17, 2022 at 5:42
  • 1
    embrace connotes to me a beginning – “Before I embraced Fooism, I was a Bazist” – while the desired sense is about not-ending. Oct 17, 2022 at 20:12
  • Embraced is good if you want a positive word, but the question seems more like "we don't want to actively destroy your dreams".
    – Stuart F
    Oct 21, 2022 at 16:24

"Pursue" would be a good fit here. It evokes both a sense of not giving up, and advancing one's interest in an area.

"The institution encourages its students to pursue their passions."

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