Finding My Way
As a student, I worry about what my future will be after Mount de Sales.
Within the halls of a private Academy, it is easy to shield yourself from fast-approaching independence, college studies, and the next place you will call home. When one spends day after day within the same walls, it is easy to block out anything that comes after. Eventually though, every student has to face his or her future.
As a child, our parents asked,
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
When you were five, you wanted to be a princess or a ninja. When you turned ten, it was an astronaut or a veterinarian. When you turned sixteen, the question got serious. Suddenly, college application season is around the corner, and the question finally needs an answer. Parents look their children in the eyes with worry and concern and ask again, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I had no idea.
I repeated the question continually in my head, afraid of what came next for me after Mount de Sales. Throughout my life, I have always been heavily involved in the arts: Art Club, Empty Bowls, advanced art classes, and the occasional design committee for the annual youth mixer. Hand me a paintbrush, and I will be there in a snap!
I began to wonder if I could choose a lifestyle and career in which my artistic life would not come second to my main occupation. Art struck me as a leisure activity, not a career. I could sell my work, but that didn’t strike me as something on which I could depend.
I was completely unsure of where my life was going. I spent weeks researching possible occupations. My head was spinning as I sought the road that would lead to my eventual future. Careers in science, math, or engineering were favorable options for a fruitful salary. Administrative jobs and business occupations seemed ideal for climbing a steep ladder to success. The options were countless, but I still wanted to create. Eventually, I talked to my dad.
A Career with Creativity
My father, a civil engineer with innate artistic talent, was my initial inspiration for pursuing my own artistic abilities. He encouraged me and guided me to hone my skills and to find the art of the paintbrush. I thought if anyone could help me, it might be him.
I walked into his office and posed the question,
“What kinds of jobs require artistic ability?”
With a curious arch in his left eyebrow at my sudden question, he simply and sarcastically quipped, “Artist.”
I glared, pressed my lips together, and pushed on saying, “Other than an artist?”
My father then named all sorts of creative yet stable jobs: engineers, interface designers, interior designers, mainframe developers, and architects. Personally, it never occurred to me that I could be an architect. I always thought becoming an architect was only for those primarily interested in math or engineering. My dad encouraged me to give it a Google search.
I learned that architects are designers of skylines and structural masterpieces. They enjoy seeing their creations, quite literally, rise from the ground and touch the sky, much like a painting emerges from a canvas. Architects are in fact engineers with artistic fingers pulling together the foundation for our civilization. A career in architecture was dependable, stable, realistic, and artistic.
A career in architecture is practically perfect for me!
As I near the end of my high school career, I am beginning to find a direction for my future.
The moral to my story: You can find a path for study and work that combines your talent, passion, and interests, and lifestyle needs. Just keep exploring the question.
Jeri Bondal, MDS Rising Senior, Artist and Future Architect