Today I am thankful that I pretty much failed my first year of college...
HA! I'm certainly not saying that having almost ZERO transferrable hours after your first year of college is something you should shoot for, but that fact that I had to get my self together after a horrible first year served me well.
It's really hard to figure out what you want to do with your life. Some adults struggle with this now - mainly because they chose the wrong thing. I have this conversation often with our ARP Preps. A career decision sounds so final! I actually knew what I wanted to do way before college, but then I became a scaredy cat. I opted out for "undelcared" then I went to "nursing/medical field." PLEASE do not think I'm saying the medical field is not full of good career choices, it's an awesome field to be in, just not what I wanted to do. But I was going for job security...
I did awful my first year, I did a lot of things besides school. Year 2 - I transferred to Delta State - home of the fighting Okra :) Still in a medical related field - I was a Chemistry major... WHAT??????????????
I was convincing myself that I would learn Chemistry and develope a make-up line. I just wanted to make something creative and pretty... I was grasping obviously.
Shortly into school, I was asked by a friend to model for her photography class. One step into the Art Department and I was a goner... It wasn't long before I changed my major so I could work towards a BFA - despite the disapproval of well - mainly my father. Job security remember? He was not so secure in my decision, but I was. Once college started, I just needed a minute to breathe. I needed a minute to be away, in a place where I could figure out who I was meant to be mistakes and all.
I graduated in 1997 with a double major (not so bad since I really did it in 4 years) in Graphic Design & Photography. The time I spent in classes like: figure drawing, sculpture, art history, the history of photography, typography, mix-media design, ceramics, bw photography (I shot film in college) WOW all of that taught me so much more than how to click a shutter or design a logo. It taught me how to understand color, composition, the use of texture & pattern, shape, negative /postive space,the RULE of thirds,and most importantly it taught me that being an artist is a process. An ebb and flow of creative ideas, things that work, things that don't.
I'm not a photographer, I'm not a designer - truly deep down I'm just an artist - it doesn't matter the medium I choose. And that my friends was figured out because I screwed up my first year of college.
God has a plan, we might not realize that the bumps in the road are part of it - but they are :) So don't be afraid to follow your dreams.
PS: In 2008, After ARP landed the cover of Professional Photographers America magazine and a huge story talking about our success, my dad was convinced I made the right choice. What an awesome day :)