Sometimes the path to your final destination in life is crooked and windy.
When I graduated high school in 2003, I had no idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do next. So I took a year to think about it and completed one final grade twelve credit before I even started to think about applying to university.
I changed my mind so many times between then and now, bounced around multiple potential career ideas. First, I wanted to pursue drama but my shyness and nerves got the best of me. Then I even considered a business degree so I could open my own children’s bookstore, but I discovered that my lack of math skills and hatred of calculus stood in the way.
When I finally did apply to university, I chose to go to the University of Toronto to pursue a degree in English.
No, I did not want to be a teacher – it was the question people always asked me when I told them what I was studying. Actually, at that point, I had decided that the English degree would probably help me to do something I’d always had in the back of my mind as a potential possibility – write.
It was something I’d been told I was good at, and something I loved to do. Naturally, taking the advice of my parents, I decided to pursue the thing that I loved. But when I got there – to university, to Toronto, to my English classes – it turned out to be different than I expected, as most new things are.
Three years into my degree, I decided I just wasn’t happy and listened to that inner voice telling me I should veer off course.
I started to pursue journalism programs at various universities, and ultimately ended up transferring to Wilfrid Laurier, mainly because I could attend the Brantford campus, be close to home and save money. As it turns out, it was the best decision I ever made.
I am so much happier where I am now, and even though I’m years ahead of my peers – in age and in education even for those three years at U of T – I don’t mind being the oldest one in most of my classes, or that it will take me a total of six years of university before I get an undergrad degree, because I know I am that much closer to achieving my true goal.
It took me those years and my experience in Toronto to realize what I truly wanted to do, which is write, and now I know what it’s like to feel the immense satisfaction that comes from knowing you are on your way to doing what you love.
I definitely don’t regret my time in Toronto and I don’t think of it as a waste. Sometimes I think of the money my parents spent and feel guilty, but the fact of the matter is, I did learn a lot while I was there – including the most valuable thing of all: more about myself.
Sometimes I think it wouldn’t have been so bad to stick it out in Toronto for that last year and get my degree, then pursue Journalism as a graduate program. In hindsight, that’s probably what I should’ve done. However, I kind of like looking back knowing that it took me this long to get to the point I’m at now. It makes me that much more certain I’m doing the right thing.
While it’d be so much easier if the path of my life were straight and clearcut, I realize that life isn’t like that. Some roads are bumpy, but steering steadfast through those bumps turns out, for me, more fulfilling in the end.