Doing What You Love VS. Doing What You’re Supposed To Do

I have loved creative work ever since I was a young kid, yet it took me seventeen years to finally decide that I wanted to study in an arts-related field. The decision didn’t come easily. I grew up hearing about how difficult it was to find a job in the arts, and how unrealistic of a career choice it was. Pop culture, peers, and adults around me emphasised that succeeding in the arts was a huge challenge. “You won’t make money.” “So, are you just going to… sell paintings?” “Is an arts degree even a real degree?” These common misconceptions led me to believe that studying the arts was inferior to studying other subjects. 

This was incredibly tough to hear, and made me unhappy throughout high school. I abandoned the arts for a while, taking courses that I had little or no interest in, but were deemed to be more appropriate for a “real” future. It was during the first semester of grade 12, when university applications were starting, when I finally realized that I couldn’t continue my education like this. Due to my lack of interest, I wasn’t succeeding in the “appropriate” courses such as the sciences. Furthermore, I couldn’t see myself being happy in a career that was not within the creative industry. I decided to do what I was passionate about, and pursue the arts. 

After entering post-secondary school with the intent to study media, I realized that the future of the arts was anything but bleak. Today, there are many interesting art courses, all extremely relevant to modern creative industries. Courses such as website design, video game development, animation, film studies, coding, and much, much more were all offered within the arts faculty. I was ecstatic, and finally started to enjoy what I was learning. Rather than just “getting by” with courses that I wasn’t so interested in, I started to participate more. I asked questions during lecture. I was an active participant during tutorial discussions. Instead of dreading class, I looked forward to it. I felt happier, as well as excited to see where my learning would take me. 

Confucius said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. Sometimes, reason and external factors come into play, and you can end up doubting yourself. However, something that I’ve learned from personal experience, is that trying is always better than giving up. I can say, with full conviction, that I’m feeling a lot happier after studying what interests me, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Maybe it’s more challenging to find a job in the arts, and maybe it isn’t. But challenging myself to succeed in a field that I am passionate about? That doesn’t sound terrible at all. 

If you would like to learn more about the possible jobs that the creative industry has to offer, I suggest looking at this great list!


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