Advice about what to do about School and Career Goals - See Post #1 for directions
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: The Netherlands
Originally Posted by
I apologize in advance if this topic is in the wrong thread, but I've always found great help from people on this and I hope I can find some more in my current situtation..
My big problem is that I am literally torn between what I want to do. In the beginning, my dream was to study fashion. Whilst in high school I worked very hard, created a portfolio, and got into F.I.T as a fashion design major. A great school for me to be in considering I was very into fashion and very into the technical aspect of actual sewing and designing. I figured that a career in patternmaking was what I was really into and I was never into fashion just for the glamour aspect. I understood that it takes hard work in the industry and was interested in patternmaking or an actual hands on job because I was into it.
This is where things start to turn... Halfway or almost more then halfway through first semester I started having doubts. It wasn't that I lost my passion for fashion, but I wasn't sure if fashion was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I would find myself sitting in the workshop at 2 a.m sewing a sleeve and starting to wonder if this was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Did I really want to work hard, long hours with little pay, working in a job in fashion? I loved fashion, but was I that passionate that I was willing to live a life that it entails?
I felt like I was capable of doing so much more. I had always been a good student growing up academically and started to feel like fashion was very limiting. I felt like I had the capability to study hard at a normal college, go to graduate school and have a career where I could be respected and earn a good living in which I could support not just myself but a family. Fashion was great but I felt like I got so caught into it. I felt almost selfish that I was going into a career just for myself and my own interests whereas I could be working a government job or helping developing countries.
So I did what I thought was best and took a semester off, and now for my second semester I am in a college close to home doing an academic major. I figured that after studying here for a little while, I'd be able to compare my time at F.I.T and figure what I liked better. Problem is, I have no idea.
Sometimes I feel like I got scared. That I chickened out working in fashion and went for something safer. I felt so scared of the fact that I would get to my last year at F.I.T and change my mind. And regret everything. Other times I feel like my decision was sensible and forward. That I was smart to choose a career that would encourage intellectual thought and be for my betterment. Other times I'm just downright confused.
My main question is what should I do from here? Who should I talk to? I talked to people at F.I.T and counselors but honestly they weren't much help. No one really told me to stay and no one could answer the questions I had. Was I wrong to leave F.I.T? Should I go back? Should I stay where I am now?
And thanks for reading such a long post. Second semester is almost ending for me and I just want to make the most out of my time rather then just running away from my problems...
I will try to show you the other side of the coin. I chose the most versatile, practical, money-making major ever (accounting) because I didn't really know what I wanted to do other than be financially secure and pick something difficult/intellectually challenging. I've been successful, I'm on a great path for my field, etc. etc. - respected and earning a good living as you mentioned. Except that I don't really like it.... And now my career goal is to move to the most expensive city in the world and find an entry level job that will be at least a 50% pay cut.
It's completely normal at your age to wonder what is out there for you, and frame things in the context of "could I do this the rest of my life?" No matter what path you choose, the rest of your life will only come at you day by day. In my opinion, if you find something to do that makes you happy, grab on to it. There is no safe path for life. Choosing something that you truly enjoy will make it all the more likely that patternmaking (and whatever unexpected opportunities arise from it) is your safest path.
As for "non-selfish" jobs like government or non-profit- practically speaking, these hold big challenges as well. Non-profit (eg helping dev. countries) will pay next to nothing, and can be very thankless. If you make progress, it is sloooowwww. Government jobs tend to pay ok, but also tend to be mind-numbing from what I've heard, because promotions and responsibilities are based on seniority rather than merit.
I'm not sure if you've already tried internships in fashion or were just a little burned out by the academic schedule- but maybe getting a taste of the actual job you'd be doing would help you figure things out. If you do get an internship, look at the people 5-10 years more senior and see if you like what the future may hold.
Good taste is the biggest vice.
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