Life After Uni – Starting in a College Fashion Program

This has been an interesting week.

On Tuesday I had my first class of the beginning of my college career and the first class of the last semester of my university career. Make sense? I’m starting college and finishing university. At the same time. And I’ve spent the whole week running around trying to prepare for what I’m sure is going to be a challenging semester.

Truthfully though, deciding what to do after university (although I’m technically not done yet), has been very frustrating and stressful. It was not something I had even thought about until early last year. I was struggling so much with just physically attending class and getting things done that what comes after wasn’t even on my mind. I’m not a particularly great student, my grades kinda suck and my language level really isn’t where it should be. And for most of my university time I was struggling with anxiety and depression, which was never even addressed until after third year. When my friends started talking about Master’s programs, applying to teacher’s college, going to law school, taking the MCATs, all of that made me realize how unprepared I was for life after uni. What was I going to do? I hadn’t cultivated any professional or academic relationships really, I probably couldn’t get into any programs based on my grades, and I wasn’t working. I was lost.

Every month I had a different idea. One month I was convinced I would do museum studies and work in a gallery. Other times I was going to go to Ireland and study design history. Next was doing Geography in England and after that even going back to Spain to teach for year. In March I had my heart set on becoming a costume designer, signing out books from the library and researching designers online. Clearly, indecision is my forte.

Since April I had considered doing a fashion program in college. Fashion was something I had wanted to do since the 5th grade, when I first learned to hand sew in English class. I did a fashion class in grade 7 where I learned to use a sewing machine and again in grade 11 when it was offered in high school. I wouldn’t say I’m fashionable, but personal style and expression has always been important to me. In the summer I took a continuing education sewing course to be considered for the program and to learn how to use industrial machines, as I had only used commercial ones before. I got accepted to the September fashion program, but it was not the right time for me to start. After that I had basically given up on the idea but it was still in the back of my mind.

A super last minute discussion with my dad at the end of November basically convinced me that maybe now was the time to do this thing I could not stop thinking about. I applied Dec 2nd, got accepted Dec 4th and after that spent the month dealing with OSAP (student loans) and all sorts of documentation.

And that is how I got to this point. Now I feel like I have more of a purpose. I don’t feel as lost as before and I’m definitely more hopeful about the future. There was a point where I could actually not think about anything more than a month into the future because I would have an anxiety attack and physically immobilize myself with fear of what’s to come. I don’t know what I will do with a diploma in fashion but at least not I look forward to the possibilities instead of being scared by them.

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