Kim Seng / FLICKR Creative Commons
Graduation is approaching and I’ve been reflecting on my life as a student, both in and outside the classroom. This wasn’t my first go at post-secondary. I studied Early Childhood Education at George Brown College and graduated in 2011. After working in the real world for a bit as a registered Early Childhood Educator, I came to realize that not only did I totally not like what I was doing, but I had missed the opportunity to find out earlier that it wasn’t my passion.
At 20, I had entered the real world right away and was working from nine to five Monday to Friday. I got a job so quickly because I started applying right after graduation. I managed to land a few interviews and a job teaching kids. But, I wasn’t ready for this lifestyle yet.
I decided to go back to school and pursue my original love, journalism. Coming out of high school, I was caught between my love for kids and my passion for writing. I wasn’t sure which direction to go, but since I felt like I was running out of time, I decided too quickly. On the side, I would continue to blog and write short stories and I began to find myself enjoying that more than my actual program.
Today, I realize that college has made me who I am today and shaped me into the person I wanted to become. I had so much time, independence and freedom while in college to figure myself out and envision what I’d like to make of myself some day. You may assume that you don’t have time to figure yourself out while cramming for finals, but you’ll find that you really do pay attention to certain subjects that you’d like to pursue as a career. You find your interests, your passion and your future at college. At least, I did.
This time around, I decided to focus on more than just a part-time job and my studies, as I’d done at George Brown. I wanted to take advantage of all of the time I would have in college with reading week, days off and awesome four-week-long winter breaks. I explored Toronto; I went on road trips and looked for adventure wherever I could. I blogged about it, took pictures and enjoyed every minute. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and live a little. I wouldn’t be in college forever and if I wanted to experience the world, or at least my little world, I had to do it right then. So that’s what I did.
I found passion in landscape photography, particularly. I’d take pictures of gorgeous sunsets, beautiful mountain top views and stunning sunrises. This was the perfect addition to my upcoming journalism career because I had learned more about the city from constantly traveling around. I realized that every place has a story. Every new place I visited gave me an experience to remember and all I could think about in that moment was blogging about it and capturing the scene with my camera. If I had stayed confined within the four walls of a classroom and simply listened to lectures, wrote my exams and let that be my day-to-day routine, I probably wouldn’t have learned as much.
I was also lucky that an internship is required to graduate the journalism program at Humber. I learned a lot at my placement at a magazine company, writing articles on a daily basis and assisting my supervisors with whatever they needed. But before this came along, I took the initiative to put myself out there. That’s your time to really explore and find what you really want to do.
So, I encourage students to go out into the world and find your passion. Make sure that when you’re in your program, staring at textbooks and hastily writing notes, you love it. Go out and explore what’s out there. Chances are it could benefit your career. Take advantage of all the freedom you have as a student to find yourself and find what you really want to do in life.