A letter to my younger self coming out of high school

A photo of a piece of paper with the words A letter to my younger self written on it CREDIT: JOHAN GEORGE
If my younger self was reading this I hope that they'd be proud.

Over the winter break, I’ve chosen to do some personal reflection and learn from my past experiences since my high school days.

There are a lot of external pressures on high school students to choose their careers and figure out what they want to do in life before leaving high school. Some even find themselves pressured to continue on the same career path before they leave middle school as athletes and musicians do. When I started high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do and I assumed, like many first-generation immigrants, that I had to work in engineering, science, or computers to have a stable career. My parents encouraged me to do whatever I was good at but didn’t have the knowledge or experience to know if any careers other than the above were possible for someone like me.

Throughout high school, I did lots of computer related and media courses. I knew that math, science, and computers were important so I put most of my time into them. I enjoyed computer science and math while science could feel like a hit or miss depending on the topic. Filmmaking and music were hobbies that I’d picked up during this period and although I wasn’t really encouraged to pursue music in school at first, I was able to take a course that taught basic filmmaking techniques and pursue my musical interests later in high school.

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On reflection, I’m glad that I had supportive parents and that even though I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, they supported me the best they could. Every course I took just for my interests came packaged with teachers who encouraged me to change some of my perspectives on life. I never had much exposure to what life could be like after school, I never attended many post-secondary fairs or visited any institutions that stuck out to me, so I felt like I was floating through school doing what I could to enjoy the time I had or make the most of it.

One thing I know for sure is that I put far too much on my plate at times through each year in high school, whether that be in clubs I was a part of or other extracurriculars, like the Air Cadet program I was attending. Nevertheless, every opportunity I participated in and I set out to learn something still feels memorable to me today.

When I started doing the music industry arts (MIA) program at Fanshawe, I could only think back to how a younger me would find the possibility of attending music school unfathomable. Typically, music students need to be exceptional instrumentalists, get recommendations from their high school teachers or music directors, and be frequent performers to get into the best of the best music schools around the world. Well, an older me found out that only accounts for a large subset of music schools that focus heavily on classical or jazz. There are other options out there. Like my program, which is one of the few in Canada that offers audio engineering and music industry business courses. I’ve always been drawn to theory and creativity. Being a modest instrumentalist with skills on the keys and on the kit, I liked performing but I wanted to make music and I’m glad that my program allows me to combine my logical brain with my creative brain and provide something that hopefully employers will value.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.