If you want to drop out, that’s okay. But don’t do it.
Jon Westenberg
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I almost dropped out…

A year into my graphic design diploma, I was hating my life. I hated not feeling inspired. I hated my teachers being flakes. I didn’t feel challenged enough and I eventually lost my passion for it. I slacked off and reevaluated whether I’d go back and finish. Is this really what I wanted to do?

But before I did anything, I consulted my high school art teacher. He taught me from Grade 9 until my graduating year, when I was taking 3–4 art classes a semester. He prep’d me and my portfolio for getting into the art program I was accepted into. I figured he was the best person to guide me at that moment.

The one thing he said, that I always carry with me when I feel like quitting…

“Just remember all of the work and all of the effort you put into getting here. Don’t throw that all away because you feel a little discouraged and unsure. Push forward, finish the course, then decide.”

In the end, I eventually chose it as a career path so I’m really glad I finished! Had I not listened, I may have been in a very different place and not pursuing the thing that I love.

And those doubts and questions still arise. They seem to never go away completely. I’m constantly being challenged both personally and professionally. It seems like I’m still pushing that rock up the proverbial mountain which sometimes makes me want to throw in the towel and do something like deliver mail. But that doesn’t mean I should. I use it as a cue to prove those doubts wrong and answer those unanswered questions.

Let’s be honest…if it didn’t challenge, you’d probably lose interest. If it didn’t push you out of your comfort zone, you wouldn’t feel like you had achieved anything. And there’s no such thing as “the top of the mountain” so stop thinking there is one. Because if you ever did reach it, you know you’d be asking “what mountain should I climb next…” So embrace that feeling of quitting, fear, and keep going. See what happens next.

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