August 22, 2011

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

It's the end of August, which for most young people means returning to school in the fall. After deciding to extend my "leave of absence" at the University of Manitoba for the Education program, I began exploring different career options early this spring. A workshop, a few meetings with advisors, and a visit to Red River College led me to Graphic Design. I felt I had quite possibly found a career I would enjoy and have the skills and abilities to do. 

For those of you who don't know exactly what Graphic Designers do, here is how Manitoba Job Futures defines it: 

"Graphic designers conceptualize and produce graphic art and visual materials to effectively communicate information for publications, advertising, films, packaging, posters, signs and interactive media such as web sites and CD-ROMs. "

If you would like to learn more, click here.

It's a pretty big leap from teaching to designing. Graphic Design sounds like a flexible profession, and I don't feel like I would be limited to a certain type of job even though it seems really specialized. I could work for magazines, newspapers, advertising firms, all sorts of companies etc. Canada is littered with media and I could be the girl behind your next menu layout, or promotional poster. I could almost work for anyone and help promote or visually enhance any idea.

I would've jumped at the chance to take Graphic Design at Red River College this fall. Unfortunately, the application deadline was back in February - 3 months before I was even considering it. So instead of bumming around another year, I considered studying out of province. My thorough internet search (I think I looked at one site that listed a bunch of institutions) led me to the Visual College of Art and Design in Vancouver. I gave them a call, spoke with their admissions guy, had a phone interview and applied in June. The interview process was reassuring as the man I spoke with talked me through my interests and abilities to see if Graphic Design would be a good fit for me. I appreciated that he cared to see if we'd be a good match, instead of hastily encouraging me to apply in order to boost enrollment. I've spoken with countless people this summer, and I don't think we can ever know 100% if a career is right for us. Sometimes we just need to take a risk and go for it. 
I was officially accepted last Saturday. It was kind of a long time coming.

I've never been to BC but I've always wanted to visit the west coast. I hear it's beautiful, lovely, trendy and just a great city to live in. I've heard of people going there and staying there. I've also spoken with random sales associates that moved to Winnipeg from Vancouver this summer. Maybe I'll fit right in, or maybe I'll wish I was back in Winnipeg after 7 straight days of rainfall. Maybe my pockets won't be deep enough. Or maybe I'll begin to cheer for the Canucks or Lions. Who knows. I'm praying that visiting Vancouver (which begins tomorrow) will open my eyes to whether or not I should move out there for studies this fall. I think the deciding factor won't be the city, but the school. If I find it to be a driven school where I would receive a solid yet enjoyable educational experience, it will probably be worth the risk. 
Um, Wow.

I've been on a lot of fences these last 2 years. This will be the biggest one. These next 2 weeks could very well change my life. Which is okay - I'm all for leaving comfort zones. That's where we discover great, new things, adventure, where we find ourselves relying solely on God and not ourselves, or where we learn more about ourselves and how the sum of all we've been through has brought us to where we are today. Life is a journey, and unlike my driving, I'm open to taking risks.

Hey Vancouer, I'm coming to see you tomorrow. Show me what you've got.