I’m going to start off by saying that I never imagined I’d be an entrepreneur. I also never thought I’d be a college drop out.
“Stick to the plan”
Growing up I had always imagined myself as a teacher. I was decently smart and loved hanging around kids – a perfect career choice right? The job offered health benefits, a decent pension plan and summers off. This was the “jackpot” as my career planning instructor (and parents) had taught me in high school.
So I planned it all out. I’d attend the Okanagan College for two years to get some of the key courses out of the way. Next, I’d transfer over to UBCO to finish off the 5 year Bachelor Degree. Piece of cake. My parents were thrilled to say the least.
But only after two months at the College, I knew I had it wrong. My gut was telling me this path was a mistake. A big mistake. When juggling with the idea of quitting, my family and friends offered their support in the ways of.. “just tough it out, it’s only 5 years.” I had the whole angel/devil on the shoulder thing going on.
But then one day I just did it. I went against everything I had ever been taught to do – I quit school mid semester. Money down the drain, brain completely overwhelmed about what to do next. I cried a lot, felt sorry for myself and dealt with constant “now what” remarks from my loved ones. Deep down I knew it was the right thing to do, but why did I feel like complete shit?
The answer? The guilty realization that I had gone off “track”. I’m sure some of you know the feeling. I deserted the expectation to graduate high school, immediately go to college for something practical, and get a kickass job. The “plan” that had been drilled into my noggin since I was a little girl went out the window.
So what’s next?
I spent the next few months doing some soul searching on what to do next. I seriously considered a few new ideas: a Nursing Unit Clerk (but I hated blood & hospitals?), Criminology (a few friends were doing it, their families seemed proud…), a Legal Assistant (but didn’t I hate paperwork?). While half-heartily filling out a NUC application one afternoon it hit me – right in the face like a sack of potatoes. Who the hell was I doing this for? Why did I feel forced to make the “practical” decision? Why was I obsessed over ticking off all the boxes (benefit, pension, big $$)? Shouldn’t the right boxes be happiness or passion? It was liberating to come to this realization. I didn’t have to commit to a “textbook” career just because I feared what people would think if I did something else. Something off the charts. Something true to me.
Finding my truth
It took me all of 10 minutes to figure out what my next step was. School wasn’t out of the question, I wanted to learn, but I wanted to learn without the guilt of picking an “artsy” path. That was who I was, artsy, down to my bones. Looking back now, all of my influencers knew that was where my passion lied, but they chose to guide me down the “practical” path instead. That’s what is always best (and where the money is), isn’t it?
I decided on a Arts and Entertainment Management program at Capilano University. The moment I got there I felt home. I spent the next two years soaking up everything I could learn. Information on festivals, entertainment venues, record labels, artist management, marketing for entertainment. Looking back, it was incredible.
A little late. But this was the path I was meant to take.
Now look at me. I’m running my own business, collaborating with creative clients and loving every damn moment of it.
But how I got there is a story for another day.