Who knew the real struggle was choosing between a paintbrush and a calculator?

Graphic showing the title, Who knew the real struggle was choosing between a paintbrush and a calculator? CREDIT: FSU PUBLICATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT

This school semester was filled with many challenges and new beginnings. I started working for the Interrobang in September while entering a new program outside my comfort zone in Business Accounting.

For the previous five years, I had been studying Fine Art and Animation. It wasn’t an easy decision to leave my hopes and dreams of working in animation behind, caving to all the voices telling me that landing a job in that industry wasn’t possible. And at the time, maybe they were right. Companies right and left have been making cuts. What chance did I stand in that kind of career if even the most talented people I know are struggling to find work? Despite the shift in my career focus, working at the Interrobang has kept my creative side alive.

As an artist, I grieved for the sole dedication I had to my art projects. Going from five years of only making art to now studying accounting. My plan of building my animation portfolio got put on the back burner. I am always criticizing myself. How can I make this better? How can I push it forward? Although I’m not among other artists daily, I’m grateful for the friends I can reach out to and ask for constructive feedback. Also, I highly recommend little trips to Museum London to reignite the passion for creating art.

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One of the challenges I faced during the school year occurred when I failed my first math test. The fear was noticeable as my hands shook while completing the equations. As a student with learning disabilities, I grappled with doubts about my abilities. I had every word to describe failure in my head. Also during that period, my Grandma was in the hospital. Unknown to me was that this was the last time I would ever see her. When she was grasping for whatever positive news she could get, I lied to her and told her I was doing great when in fact that was far from the truth (disclaimer, I do not endorse lying). However, I persevered and adjusted my studying habits. I worked on memorizing how to solve the problems and I spent all the free time I had practicing. This eventually led to my success on the next math test, earning me a score of 90 per cent. From there, I was named to the Dean’s Honour Roll for the fall term.

For so many years, people saw me as the creative type. They would never have guessed that I would choose accounting. In the summer, I was enrolled in the 3D Animation and Character Design Program. But at the last minute, I switched to Business Accounting. Everyone was shocked when I told them I had changed programs.

But here’s the lesson I learned: People aren’t boring old jars only made for one purpose. We are diverse, and we should never “stick to that status quo,” as High School Musical would put it. And, we shouldn’t be afraid to fail at times. Not everyone is inherently gifted, but there’s an advantage in that. Every hard-earned cent contributes to building character, a stark contrast to someone who was simply handed a million dollars.

Overall, I’m proud of how I handled the challenges I faced and the art I created this year, even the bad ones.