I can finally feel confident in saying I was made for this! My schooling has now come to an end, and it has been a bittersweet time. I can assure you it’s been quite the journey and lately I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on how far I’ve come.
When I was in elementary school I wanted a pet so much, but after my dog died we weren’t allowed to get another one. Then I had decided I wanted to become a vet. I could help all animals all day every day. After years of this, the Animal Planet channel came out, so my Mom ordered it for me thinking I would enjoy it. It was then that my childhood dreams came to an end. I never realized I would have to actually perform surgery on these animals!! I am far too squeamish for this and as a result, dropped my lifelong dream and felt directionless.
Fast forward to grade 10 when we had a careers class. We had to plan our careers and do a presentation. I decided I wanted to be a photojournalist, but there was no information on the field for me, so I researched for both photographers and journalists and put them together for the sake of the presentation. I always had a love for photography, but someone close to me once said I would need to get a “real job” and I’ll be honest, being financially secure is an important goal of mine. Around this time, my mom had just rebranded her business and had new brochures, business cards etc. and the results were just stunning. By this time I was in grade 12 and we had another presentation to do on our career choices, so I set up an interview with my mom’s graphic designer and figured it was close enough to photography for me to love, and I could still do photography on the side.
When I first applied for Graphic Design, I didn’t get in because I didn’t have a sketch book, so I entered into a Media Foundation program which was a year long. I dropped out of the program 6 weeks before the end because I was accepted into the Graphic Design program finally! Now to make a long story short, it turns out you had to be able to draw in the Graphic Design program, and because of that I was failing 3 classes by midterm, and dropped out (to date my best art is stick figures). At this point I wasn’t sure what to do and took two years off. I moved to Denmark, then when I realized I wanted to go back and try photography. The program was filled so I worked retail for a year until I could apply again and started!
During the first week, there are always introductions to your teachers and classmates. One of our teachers wanted us to state which field of photography we were interested in, and I was the only one interested in getting into travel. This teacher had just come back from a press trip to the Bahamas and told me to start a blog right away, so I did. From that point, my introduction to the blogging world was like a snowball effect. It’s moved fast, and I’ve learned lots and am starting to get the hang of it. What I really love is the control I have over it all. I control my look and branding, all of my own social media (which is sadly still a bit lacking). But what I love most is the voice I have. I choose the message I am putting out there, and I am helping to inspire others and that is such an amazing feeling.
I felt the urge to write this message now because it has been so strongly on my mind and it’s such an end in my life right now. The end of an entire section, not just a chapter. I have been in school my entire life, and now that I am done, it is time for me to make a life I love and make a living from the knowledge I now have. And I’m so excited to be able to share it with you from the very first steps. This is exciting, terrifying, bittersweet and exhilarating to say the least.
I also want people who read this to know that when you drop out of college, it doesn’t make you any less successful. Sometimes it takes trial and error to find your way. You always learn, so no money used on school is a waste even if you journey into other fields. Dropping out isn’t something to be ashamed of, just use it to redirect your life’s path. I also learned from my experiences that you should always follow your passion. If I entered the photography program right out of the gate, I would have graduated before I turned 20 and I would have saved some money. But I wouldn’t have met some of my best friends, I wouldn’t know as much about the design world, I wouldn’t have moved to Denmark, I would have missed out on so much. I may never have been told about blogging for a living.
Do you have any career advice for anyone that you learned the hard way? I would love to hear your stories!