Since graduation is coming up for high schoolers and all, I thought I’d revisit an older post of mine called Student to Student, update it a bit with some newer images and expand on some of the points I was trying to make back then, while I was still a student.
Once upon a time I was a high school student that was told I wouldn’t get into the University that I wanted. Spoiler alert: I did and I still want to go back at throw my degree at the guidance counselor from my high school that told me I couldn’t. Back then I was finally a freshman in college for business, specifically accounting, until I realized that even though I was good at math…my bright yellow book bag, hair bows, and cat adorned binders didn’t seem to sit well with my accounting peers. (Everyone else seemed to have black monogramed briefcases that they brought to class, almost as if I showed up to a party in costume when everyone else was wearing normal clothes.) Talk about feeling like a black sheep in the class.
It took me a year of generally hating my classes and struggling to study something I couldn’t stand until I made the switch to marketing. (Where suddenly half the class had brightly colored book bags and I felt more of a connection to the material we were studying.) Once I graduated from my first choice University with my bachelors in marketing, I decided that I wasn’t done with academia just yet. I wasn’t ready to just settle down to a job without first getting the experience and another little degree in a field that I thought would make me even more hirable. That is: graphic design. Which compliments Marketing quite well.
What I didn’t expect was that art school would be quite so different from, well, business school.
Art school vs business school! It was a year of adjusting for me and it took me a while to realize that the way I was facing classes was nothing like how my new peers were facing classes. I was taking avid notes in separate notebooks, constantly updating my planner with project goals and deadlines, and sitting as close to the front of the room as physically possible. Let’s just say I was, at least in most classes, the only one doing that. Maybe it was just the smaller class size, but sometimes I felt like the only one who was way ahead on projects. Everything in art school seemed so much more laid back and no one seemed quite so stringent about dead lines, which had ruled my life before, because in business deadlines are everything…especially so in advertising.
I’m actually glad I waited to get my Bachelors degree before coming to art school. I felt a lot more grounded and I knew how to pace myself, schedule my time, and I became a professor favorite since I was always ahead of the deadlines, sitting in the front seat, taking constant notes, and not playing around on the computers. If I would have went to art school right out of high school, I feel like I would have gotten sidetracked much more easily and ended up somewhere else.
(Fashion design major, oh how I wish you could have been mine! Augh!) University made me get a handle on self motivation and self discipline that I completely lacked in high school. Think of University as a Type A personality and art school as a Type B personality.
So basically, I just want to tell you all that you shouldn’t hold yourself back by doing something that you don’t like to do. I found that I couldn’t excel at something that I hated, even if I knew that it was what my parents had wanted me to do. I ended up in marketing because I loved doing it, I enjoyed the subject matter, and then I went to art school because, well I’ve always loved art! I wanted to find a career in something that I’ve already put a lot of hours into, and I’ve always put a lot of time into design, copy writing, and studying advertising, social media, and marketing in general!
If you want a nice book to read on the subject, check out Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. (Blink, What the Dog Saw, and Tipping Point are also great reads by him as well.)