When I was a teenager I was convinced I was going to be a filmmaker. I dreamed up all these stories that I believed would someday make it to the big screen in some way or another. I got an internship with a small video production company helping out with various tasks and learning the ins-and-outs of making films. Not multi-million dollar blockbusters, but everybody has to start somewhere.
When I was a senior in high school I got together with some classmates to make a short film for some 24-hour film contest. I don’t know if any copies exist still, but I certainly hope not. Let’s just say we didn’t win the contest, not even close. I blame myself for the films issues, I was the director and I didn’t do a great job at directing. The problem was I didn’t enjoy directing. Nobody’s first movie is going to be good, but it’s telling that I knew this was an experience I never wanted to have again.
I was in a bit of a crisis in terms of what I wanted to do. I could pursue other avenues in film but nothing else really appealed to me for one reason or another. I’m the kind of person who likes to have creative control over my work and so anything other than a director would definitely not have interested me. I had applied to multiple schools not really sure what it was I wanted to do. My computer science options were very limited since my math scores were terrible so I didn’t know if I would be able to pursue a career in game design. I found myself enrolled in a graphic design program at a local technical college and I fell in love pretty quickly.
Though I never finished school I learned what it was that I wanted to do, and design has been my main focus for nearly 7 years. It was a happy accident but it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been willing to try something new. That’s not to say I knew exactly what I wanted to do within graphic design, I spent a few more years exploring that aspect.
Even if you think you know exactly what you want to do, you may find that you actually don’t really like it as much as you thought you did. Don’t force yourself to stick with something if it’s not going to be something you’re going to be passionate about. Get out there and explore new options.