Do What You Love...
Moving away from home was a huge decision for me. The opportunity first came about as I was finishing up high school. When it came to applying for College and University I realised that there were a limited number of schools in Canada that offered Product Design and that the ones offered in British Columbia were either a very far commute ( easily 3 hours each way during rush hour) or did not have any graduating classes because the programs were too new. Because of this I began looking elsewhere. I looked at an interesting program at University of Alberta, as well as one in Ottawa and a few others in Toronto but at the end of the day I felt like I was too young to move away from home and I was unsure if I would be able to make it as a designer.
A few months after graduation I decided I didn't want to just continue a job working at tim hortons (my first and least favourite job), So I quit and took a vacation with my best friend to Florida and also applied to a Steel & Structural Drafting course at a university that was only a 5 min. drive from my house. I quickly learned the basics of the program, and although I was doing very well (one point off a 4.0 gpa) I didn't take the program seriously because I was bored, and I wasn't excited about the future jobs that my professors were talking about, and the lack of female presence in the industry made me dislike it even more. Eventually after starting my specialty I decided to quit the program which I think really surprised my parents (probably since I was doing so well).
I realise now that I quit that program because it lacked any creativity, it didn't utilize my talents to its full potential so I ended up getting bored. After I quit the program there were moments where I felt like I had really failed, but in reality I was opening many new doors and getting high grades in university gave me confidence that I could be a designer not just a cad person or draftsman (which is still a completely valid career). Around this time I began looking for new schools and I kept on coming back to schools in Toronto. Toronto is the largest cities in Canada and I felt like it would be the perfect place to learn design so I applied to ONE program that I felt offered everything I wanted. I applied fairly late and wasn't sure if I would be accepted into the program and I still had doubts if I would get in based on my portfolio which felt rushed.
A few weeks after I submitted my portfolio I received a call on the way to work that I had been accepted to the program. This was an exciting moment for me. I accepted the offer and began planning where I would live.
The most important thing that I learnt from this experience was that I should have gone for my dreams right away. I let the fear of moving away dictate my career choice, and I am grateful everyday that I was able to take a chance and go to a school that I though would benefit me most in the future.
I've been enrolled in Product Design in Toronto for almost 4 years and I graduate this April, and I have many things to look forward to. Choosing to follow your passions is a much more fulfilling existence than choosing a whole new career based on convenience , and I hope that I can learn from this experience and choose to take a bit of a leap instead of taking the easy way out.
Be Confident & Follow Your Passions !