When I graduated high school, I (surprisingly) did not know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I knew getting an education was important, and since I liked school anyways, I applied to a few popular Ontario universities and accepted an offer to attend a Visual Arts program at a university an hour from my home. I figured that while I didn’t know exactly what career I wanted, my experience in university would help me figure it out eventually.
When I moved into my university residence, I was floored by how much I loved the school and the people in it. I spent my first semester getting accustomed to university life and attending classes. However, while my classes were interesting, I realized I was not passionate about anything I was learning. I felt uneasy knowing my program was not giving me the life changing clarity I craved, and that I still had no idea what career path I wanted to take. I felt even more nervous thinking I was stuck in a program I didn’t like for the next 3 years.
As fate would have it, on a particularly cold, snowy night, my friends and I decided to go to the theatre to see the movie Avatar. The animation and visual effects of that movie blew me away, and made me realize that computer graphics and design were the kinds of things I wanted to do.
I left the theatre confident that visual art was not something I could see myself doing as a career. Instead, I dove into research about programs that offered the creative outlet I was searching for, but had options for animation and graphic design, things I was truly interested in (thanks to Avatar’s inspiration!).
The university I was attending did not offer programs that related to what I wanted to do, so I chose to expand my research to other schools. I searched for programs with key words like “graphic design” and “animation”, and came across a plethora of programs focusing on these interests.
I contacted a few schools to get more information about their programs, and I ended up being accepted into a university two hours away. Their program offered a university degree with a college certificate so that students are provided with the academic and applied learning of both types of institutions.
I finished my first year as a Visual Arts major, and used the credits I had earned towards my degree at my new school.
While transferring meant another transition into another new school, the process was easier than I had anticipated. The staff at both universities helped me with each step of the transfer process, so I was able to attend my new university in September as a second year student. While the process was at times stressful and scary, it was comforting to know that the decisions I made in high school were not set in stone, and that I had the power to change my mind to find what I was truly interested in doing.