When I was in grade 10, I wanted to become a pilot.
I’ve always dreamed of exploring the world, learning new languages, and interacting with different people. Sitting in the cockpit meant working the magic of bringing people to fancy destinations. It was the ideal job for a girl who wanted to travel and dared to face turbulence.
However, we all know that life doesn’t always work out the way we plan it. The costs along with the training and qualifications that are needed to become a pilot were too much. In Canada, statistics show that the average flight school student spends around $24k to obtain both commercial and private licenses. For Air Canada and WestJet hopefuls, a commercial license is simply not enough to secure a position. Aspiring pilots will have to train more and obtain an ATPL license, which means more debt for loan-takers.
Taking these factors into consideration, the only choice I was left with was to pursue another career path. Hence, I decided to follow my parents’ dreams and pursue Computer Science. I remember the first day when I entered my Introductory Programming class — the assignments were dreadful starting from the very beginning. I was surprised I didn’t fail the course.
After some soul-searching, I decided that I should switch to a Math major. However, I realized that, for as long as I could remember, I never liked math.
When I tried out a few different programs at my school, I realized that none fit me.
This scenario is not just my story — it’s also the story of thousands of college students as well. We don’t have full exposure to the structure of college and the opportunities that the world gives us in terms of careers. Sometimes, in order to know more about a career, researching and discussing it with an Academic Advisor is simply not enough. Instead, students have to immerse themselves in a field through volunteering or internships.
The way I found out about the fashion industry was through a part-time job. Working at a Haunted House made me realize how much I enjoyed watching makeup artists and costumers transform humans into monsters. Therefore, I decided to take the chance and enroll in a part-time makeup course.
Although makeup was an interesting and fascinating industry, I thought that I needed to explore more of the art behind clothing. I searched for some fashion programs in other schools and decided that I should enroll in a Fashion Management program at George Brown College.
Then, I suddenly felt content about my education choice.
For all of you prospective and current college students: it’s never too late to try out something new. The world is full of different opportunities and industries in the most fascinating fields. Sometimes, these careers do not need to be honed by attending rigorous classes — experience plays a bigger role in landing a decent first job.
If you feel undecided and unsatisfied with your college education, try to take a course outside of your comfort zone to see your true potential.
There are many great scientists who were philosophers and vice versa. In fact, research has proven that most of us thrive on creative and analytical thinking. Developing both of these skill sets as a hobby will bring a lot of diverse opportunities as well.
We often choose to go to college for memories and friends. However, we must realize that our education is vital for our career success. Achieving potential and being on the path to a stable career does not always imply happiness. When something is missing, we must choose the correct program to fill in the gap. And that’s why we often switch majors — our gut feelings indicate that our education from our program isn’t satisfactory. Instead, we must try out a multitude of activities and hobbies to see where our heart lies.
Throughout the process, don’t drown yourself in tears and sweat. Instead, keep in mind that school adventures (not planes), volunteer positions, and job opportunities will land you on the right destination.
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