How I Unintentionally Discovered My Passion Rosa BESTMANN, UNC CHAPEL HILL

Once upon a time, there was a college Junior who had absolutley no idea what she wanted to do with her life.

That undecided Junior was me. When I initially enrolled in English 318, I was a undecided, hesitant transfer student who just moved to Durham from a small community college in Wilmington, NC., I did not really have any particular drive or sense of direction and truthfully, over the course of my two years at my previous institution, I had a hard time figuring out exactly what I wanted to pursue my BA in. I indescivley choose to pursue a major in Communication, due my prior interest in the subject and encouragement from my guidance counselor. This descison was not stemmed from a particular passion, nor was I particularily "excited" about my descison. Due to the spontaneity and indecisiveness regarding my major choice, I was not fully aware of what a Communication degree entailed, nor did I have any idea of what I wanted to do upon graduation.

UNC Chapel Hill

As I attended my first day of English 318, I understood that this course would be quite different from my other courses at UNC. During my first week at UNC I dropped 3 courses and switched out of 2. I had a difficult time finding classes that engaged me, along with professors who displayed interest and passion in the subject matter they were teaching. As cliché as this sounds, this was until I stumbled into English 318 with Coach Todd. As he explained what the course included, along with the work involved, it was apparent that this was no “easy A,” nor did it entail a impersonal, interested professor. I used Adobe suite once before in my life, during my high school yearbook career. While my encounter was short and brief, it sparked a certain interest in my creative mind. Unlike other layout programs I encounter before this, InDesign provided a limitless plethora of design options. I found myself spending hours, even coming in hours before school and staying late, sitting in front of a computer and exploring the amazing world of InDesign. Upon graduation of high school, my passion and interest in graphic design quickly dwindled.

Until we were assigned the print version of our project, I had not opened InDesign since my high school days. That day, I spent hours experimenting with my layout. As I began to use the software more and more, I started to recall the variety of shortcuts and tools that I once used on a daily basis. As the deadline approached for our final draft, I quickly became panicked in realization that I would not be able to achieve the level of perfection that I so desired for my final product. This is one of the most valuable and monumental lessons that I have learned throughout my college career. Despite ones inherent desire to achieve the highest quality of product, you must accept that there are only so many hours in the day. I found myself having to accept the fact that although I was not entirely satisfied with my final product, I had spent immense effort through countless hours and days devoted to this project, which was something to be proud of in itself.

As the semester progressed as we experimented with the different Adobe programs, I started to find myself looking forward to spending my afternoons in the MRC, working on my latest project. When I was working on my projects in the MRC, nothing else really existed. I would start up the computer, put in my headphones, and tune out the outside world for a while. Before this, I never quite enjoyed “homework,” but never before was I provided with the means and tools to explore all the creative concepts I’ve been generating. It was upon this initial realization that I decided that this may be something I want to do as a professional career. I began researching and devoting additional time to figuring out exactly what kind of career/degree I would be interested in. Over the course of the recent months, I have found a particular passion in visual communications. I attended additional design courses at UNC and enrolled in a visual design course at the Durham Arts Council. I love these additonal courses, I find myself looking forward to them all week. They act almost as an escape from my daily stresses, while also teaching me many practical tools and resources which will provide useful to me for many years to come. Last month I scheduled an appointment with my guidance counselor, in interest of pursuing a visual communcation degree. The application is due January 1st, and I am hoping that this will become a reality for me.

All in all, Coach Todd and his instruction in English 318 have provided me with the tools and resources to explore my talents and interests. Furthermore, it is through this course primarily that I have found a potential career, which is a quality I deem forever valuable. I cannot count the amount of times people have asked me what I wanted to do with my degree and I reluctantly lied about some false career, which I honestly had no desire in pursuing. Now, I can proudly clarify exactly what I want to pursue and prevail at as a professional. Aside from awakening my sense of passion and creativity, I have also learned many valuable lessons, many of witch I find will serve me useful in the years to come. These lessons entail patience, and keeping your cool when everything seems to be going wrong. Lessons of acceptance and hard work. And most importantly, lessons regarding trial and error, and coming to understand that it takes time and hard work to achieve something that you are proud of.

Perhaps what I find most valuable throughout the execution of this course is that I have found myself exhibiting a profound sense of proudness that I have received through the creation, production, and presentation of this project. Prior to this, I have never really created something independently which I was proud to display to others. In the past, I always exhibited a slight sense of insecurity and self-doubt in my work. Once I finished my final portfolio and uploaded my final draft, the product of countless hours, I found myself looking at a product that I was actually proud of. This course has given me confidence in myself, the quality of work I can achieve, and lastly, my future career choice. For this I will be forever grateful.


Created with images by MMT - "graffiti wall mural" • kevin dooley - "A sea of maroon and gold: ASU graduation 2010"

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