That dreaded time of year when everyone goes back to school!
The end of August rings in many things-- the end of a month, and the beginning of the "-ber" months (my personal favorite). The end of August also means... school! For most anyway. This year, it got me thinking about my rather unorthodox situation and rocky path whenever it came to school.
In June of 2013, I graduated (barely) high school. No big deal. I never knew what I wanted to do with my life, but in the back of my mind, I knew for a fact I wasn't going to stay on the straight and narrow path. I was an artist. There aren't too many of them these days which is a tragedy. But nonetheless, I convinced myself I wasn't the artist I knew I was. And in the Fall of 2013 I began my college journey at the College of Southern Nevada. I started of studying general education and took my first psychology class ever. LOVED. IT. So I changed my major from general education to Psychology. HATED. IT. I took the push my parents gave me and changed my major to nursing. They would've preferred I became a doctor, but I was taking baby steps. I hated nursing, but loved learning about ultra sounds. So I changed my major to Sonography. Didn't like that and tumbled into Radiology.
To say the least, I had absolutely NO direction. In between all the changing, I became deeply discouraged. I took a break from school. But through all the tough days, tears, and anger, the one thing that kept me going was my art. Whether I was drawing, painting, taking pictures or editing videos, even writing, I always had something to redirect my feelings into. Then it dawned on me-- I want to go to an art school. Considering my parents wanted me to be a freaking doctor, you could only imagine how the conversation went when I told them I wanted to enroll at the Art Institute of Las Vegas. Suffice it to say, there wasn't actually much of a conversation. It was more like yelling and saying I'll never find a job in that sort of industry. I was shut down and my dreams stepped on. But I convinced them to let me go because it was something I really wanted.
Spring of 2014, I attended my first quarter at AILV. It was great! I loved everything about it. I was majoring in graphic design and couldn't have been happier. Until I started failing classes. I was skipping class and not doing projects. UNLESS it was my intro to video class. So I changed my major to Videography. Later on I would take another break. Fast forward to this year, when I went back to AILV to major in Photography.
Through all the failures, there was something I learned about myself-- school is not my thing, and I'm an amazing creator.
I look back at the past four years of my life. Had I stayed on the straight and narrow path, I would've been graduating this year with a bachelor's degree in... something I hate. And I used to think about that all the time and HATE myself for it. But as I look back, I realize there were so many amazing opportunities I took and experiences I had that I wouldn't want to give back. I don't regret all the changes and all the breaks in between semesters. It taught me that dreams are limited to what you tell yourself you can do. But what you strive to do says so much more. Passion drives us to do crazy things, but in the end, those are the things that matter the most. Success isn't based on how many degrees you have, whether you attended a community college or university, how long it took you to get to where you are, or if you're a high school dropout. The stigma that education is the only thing that will carry you to your future isn't always true for everyone. Obviously, if your dream is to be a surgeon, school is important. Please go to school. Don't cut me open if you didn't go to school to learn that.
All I'm saying is... You are your biggest critic. Your own worst nightmare. And if you have aspirations, go for them. If school is part of that or not, it doesn't matter. Success begins when you feel proud of what you're doing.
So, I will continue to study. Or not study. I will continue to draw, and paint, take pictures, and make videos. One day I'll have my own business. I'm thankful for the opportunities I always receive to take photos for people. And I'm thankful for the ones who believe in me. I'm proud of the things I create. And I wouldn't have it any other way.