Back in my last year of high school, after a bit of too-ing and fro-ing about my future career, I decided that I was going to do a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in photography. I wasn’t sure if Fine Arts really suited me, but I liked the idea of spending my days dressed in over-sized painting shirts, with a camera in my hand.
I was also pretty sure that within a year of completing the final photoshoot for my course, or whatever it is fine arts students do, I would be famous, and there would be many free things. I place a lot of stock in the word free…
My portfolio was constructed with the help of a family friend, who I relied on for advice on everything, from photo choices, to the picture sizes. After the portfolio was completed I sent it away and was, after the worlds longest 3-4 week wait, accepted into my university of choice.
After that? Well I was ecstatic of course. I was destined for a life of artistic awesomeness.I would drink coffee, probably, and live in a studio apartment. There would be big shirts, artistic black and white photographs, and I would smell constantly of developer – the most heavenly smell in the world. Clearly I hadn’t been introduced to Lush yet.
It was all a mater of breezing through my Bursary exams. And I knew I would because I had no reason to believe I wouldn’t pass. Back then I breezed through exams. Most of the time without even taking ten minutes study for them.
It was only when I was standing in my bedroom, contemplating my results envelope, when I got my first twinge of apprehension.
I opened the envelope to find that I had failed English – the class which I had yet to fail anything in – and photography. Photography wasn’t so much a surprise, because I had very little idea what I was supposed to be doing for most of the year (my teacher wasn’t big on explanation or instruction.) English absolutely blew me away.
All of a sudden I wasn’t going to university. I wasn’t going to live in a studio apartment and wear big shirts. I had no idea what I was doing.
I ended up getting a place in a year long diploma of Computer Graphic Design in Wellington. Upon finishing the course the institution offered me a job as the receptionist and administration assistant. Since then I’ve been floating around in admin type positions, and have begun a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science and International Relations.
Six month into me working in Admin I realised I was bored. I took up going to the gym and Kickboxing. It took me another year to get up the courage to go back to Uni, and since then I’ve also taken up Taekwon Do, and learned how to Scuba Dive.
I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I do have some clearer ideas of what I don’t want to be or do though. I don’t want to drink coffee. Big shirts are stupid. I would be so disapointed in myself if I spent another 10 years in boring admin positions that I loathe.
My point is, failing Bursary changed my life. It was unexpected, jarring, and scary. It had a lasting effect on my life. And if I got the choice, I probably wouldn’t go back and change it. My life right now is so freaking interesting, that I don’t think I’d like to be a Photographer who drinks coffee, lives in a studio apartment, and wears big shirts.