Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Guys, I'm stressed. I recognise how long this is but I would be greatful to anyone with open ears. Uh... eyes.
I like to think I don't get stressed very easily and, the fact is, until I was about 22 I didn't get stressed at all. It wasn't until I was having chest pains one day that I realized my job needed to change. Chaos ruled for nearly a year until it escalated to a point where I decided a change had to be made. That's when I moved back to Ontario from BC.
Today I've been making myself more stressed by thinking about my future. When I was a teenager (16? 17?) I wanted to be an outdoor adventure guide. I wasn't sure about the specifics but I knew I wanted to spend my life in the outdoors. A few of my friends, who were heading along the same lines, had a few "one-up"'s on me. They had gone to camp as kids and become councillors, rangers and treeplanters before entering university. Me? I wasn't so lucky and I thought you needed these credentials to become employed in this line of work.
Later, as I was applying for university myself, my aunt told me some words I will never forget. She said that being an outdoor adventure guide wasn't a career that would make any money and it was a poor choice to make. Despite not knowing what I would like to do with my life she told me not to take a year off between high school and university. I should go to University no matter what.
I did just that. In 2005 I attended the University of Toronto for English studies with a Russian Minor. I nearly failed 3 of my classes and dropped out of my Russian course without a word to anyone. I only attended for one semester and, thinking back, I couldn't even tell you what I did through the second semester other than spend my government loans. I'm still paying those loans back.
I still knew I wanted to do something involving the outdoors. I loved camping and backpacking. I could canoe for an entire day without frowning once. But I was still under the impression that I needed more experience to become a guide. I started working in sales at a high-paying job (for my age). A year later I moved to BC and transfered workplaces. I stayed at The Brick for a total of 4.5 years before escaping back to Ontario.
May of 2011 I started working for my dad's photography company. I had thought about attending school multiple times throughout the years but it always seemed to be spring and too late to apply to the schools. I was scared away from the programs I wanted to attend because I was lacking credentials, my references weren't up to par or my finances weren't good. A year and a half later and I'm still scared.
A couple of months ago I thought I had found my calling. I applied to a few colleges for their web design programs and enjoyed tinkering around with the designs of a few websites friends and family had asked me to create. I loved - and still love - the design aspect of the world wide web. I soon realized that web design was not a strong-paying feild. I could take the course and make perhaps $40,000 a year or, during the same period of time, I could take a web development course and earn nearly double. I decided to accept my attmitance to Georgian College for their Web Design and Development program.
I'm not fond of coding; I tried to learn HTML and got bored half way through the process. I keep thinking of myself 10 years in the future owning a small home in the country with a garden for a backyard and more chickens than I can count. Is that realistic as a web developer? I don't know.
Today I have been searching through schools for Adventure Tourism. I know this is a job that I would enjoy but, at 25, I have never had experience in this feild. Most programs are four years in length. I would be turning 30 when I graduate. They require a strong and normally slim fizeek. I'm not sure how many years I could do jobs in this feild. I'm sure my body would be happier for it but my financial situation would certainly never improve.
Just applying to the two schools I would like to attend will cost $240. I'm missing a few credentials such as first aid and bronz medallion. I have very few references having worked for a family business for the past two years. I have even fewer references relevant to the outdoors. I don't even have a full driver's license.
Any responses or motivation you have will be deemed both worthy and appreciated. Just please don't tell me to follow my dreams. We all know we should do that. Thank you so much for reading!