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September 7, 2017

A Fork in the Road: What I Learned From Making Mindful Decisions about College.

Toward the end of my junior year of high school, I started touring art schools.

For the last few years, I had been a huge part of my school’s journalism team. Every morning I would write the scripts, film the newscast, and then edit the day’s video announcements. I also wrote weekly arts and entertainment articles for the newspaper. For a brief period of time I was promoted to desk-editor.

As I got more involved with video production, I began to pursue my videography interests outside of the classroom. I struggled to use my parents’ camera and generic computer software, but they were supportive of my interest in film. I got my first camera, a Canon T5i, for Christmas during my sophomore year, and, a few months later, received a new Macbook Pro for my birthday.

This is when I started creating my own short films, films with complex story lines and dramatic scenes. My friends and I would drive all over the town seeking out attractive landscapes for our latest projects. These were not the same goofy home movies I made as a child—a few of my films even became small YouTube sensations with thousands of views.

I was incredibly passionate about film, and everyone around me could see it.

This was around the time my parents and I began looking at art schools.

The art schools were incredible: tall buildings located in chic urban settings, stocked to the brim with any kind of camera you could have wanted. Their studio rooms took my high school’s closet-sized green room and magnified it by 10. Each computer lab was full of desktop Mac computers loaded with editing software I’d never even heard of. It seemed like a dream come true.

Yet something seemed missing from each program—something I just couldn’t quite put my finger on.

I asked about directing programs, or anything where I’d be empowered to create my own scripts and storylines for my films. They had nothing of the sort. 

Though I had been intrigued by video production, I realized that my heart was still with writing. After nearly a year of researching and touring different art schools, I decided to go to a regular college. This one did not offer a film program anywhere close to the caliber of the art institute’s. But they did offer an excellent English program.

Though I had always had an interest in the film program’s, writing was my one true calling. I chose to abandon my art school dreams and pursue my passions in writing instead. Different hobbies have always came and gone in my life, but being a writer is the one thing that’s always remained constant. Though it hasn’t always been my most passionate calling, it’s the one thing that my heart and soul truly desires.

It has been two years since I chose not to go to art school, and I am once again a part of a video journalism department—my college’s. Creating short films and news clips is still a hobby of mine, but it’s not nearly as great of a passion as writing will ever be. My heart just wasn’t fully in it with film. Though I am no longer capturing the story through my camera lens, I am now creating the story with words.

I am a writer through and through. This is my truth that I cannot deny. I cannot imagine what my life would have been like if I had chosen to pursue videography as a career.

Denying your innermost passions and desires will only lead you down the wrong path. Even if your calling is something seemingly out of reach, if you love what you do, you will be great at it.

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Author: Sierra Doan
Image: Andrei Coman/Unsplash
Apprentice Editor: Tiffany Cook
Editor: Callie Rushton
Social Editor: Leah Sugerman

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Sierra Doan