Course Changes

            Well, as promised in the post "Depression" my pilgrimage in search of the right course, and I will take the opportunity to express my opinions on the subject. To begin, I will tell you my personal story of course changes. Well, the first course I joined was in Medicine at FPS (Faculdade Pernambucana de Saúde) in 2017. The choice seemed obvious, because it was what I wanted to do since I was a child so I didn't have much doubt about it. I always idealized myself as a doctor and working in the field, which obviously generated a lot of expectations from family and friends. However, when I started studying medicine I realized right away that this was not what I wanted for my life. I could no longer imagine myself working in hospitals and the like, and I had no motivation to even leave home to go to college. So after a few months (I think 3 or 4) that seemed like years, I decided to drop the course.

            After that I entered a terrible limbo. I had no idea what I was going or wanted to do, after all my childhood dream was clearly not in line with reality. I didn't start another course until the following year. During this period, I considered several courses such as Psychology, Computer Science, History, Cinema, among others. Finally I opted for Cinema, because I already realized in that period that I liked to create. I passed ENEM and enrolled in Cinema at UFPE, at the 1 semester of 2018. But I never got to study. My uncertainties and insecurities added to family pressure made me give up on the idea. We went back to limbo.

            My parents then suggested that I try law, as it suited me and my personality, including the fact that I love reading. I decided to accept the suggestion and at the 2 semester of that same year I joined UNICAP (Catholic University of Pernambuco). Contrary to what happened with Medicine, I did not reject the course at first, but, in fact, I liked it a little. So much so that I finished the 1 period, something I didn't do with medicine. But it didn't last long, and in the 2 period I realized that that was also not what I wanted and decided to lock this course more.

            But I left Law knowing exactly what I wanted, a course in the area of creation and entertainment. My parents then suggested that I at least take a look at American colleges. I did it, but without putting much faith that I could get accepted into one. It was while researching courses on American college websites that I discovered Full Sail University, my current college that is in Orlando. I looked for something related to creation and entertainment, and at first I was interested in the animation course, Computer Animation. And that's where I signed up.

            I took the Toefl (English proficiency exam) and sent all the documentation to the college, and to my surprise I was approved. I then moved to Orlando in July 2019, as the next month my classes would begin. But in the first month I had contact with another course that had gone unnoticed on the website, the Creative Writing course. I knew immediately that it was the ideal course and I asked the college to change course, which was done without too many problems. And it was in this course that I finally found myself, and that showed me what I want to follow as a profession, writer and screenwriter. I am very happy with my course and I graduate in September 2021.

            Okay, now that I have told my story in search of the right course, I will say a little about what I think about the subject. First, being "lost" is completely normal and almost everyone experiences it at some point. I specifically address the theme of this post, I think it is natural that some people are not sure which course to take. Because it is not such a simple decision, you simply need to decide what you are going to do for the rest of your life. A responsibility that society places on very young shoulders, without the maturity and self-knowledge necessary to make this decision (these come with time and experience). On top of that, society demands that such a decision be taken quickly, because "time is money". I can't agree with that, it doesn't seem fair or effective, charging young people aged 20 or less to make that decision.

            Another thing, at school you don't get in real contact with the professions. There is no work in this sense, of getting the student to really know the various professions that exist and what it is like to act in each area. Schools only care about one thing, entrance exam. They just want to approve as many students as possible at ENEM and the like, regardless of whether the student is entering the right course or not. I no longer see schools concerned with training citizens prepared to face adult life, they only think about numbers. And if the student is undecided or lost, it is more in the way than help. In addition, the content you like at school does not necessarily reflect what you want to work with. For example, I was very fond of biology and did not last a period in medicine. That is why I believe it is important for schools to approach professions in a deeper way and present them effectively to students. That way they can make a better informed decision.

            Another important aspect is the famous discussion between doing what you like and doing what theoretically gives you money. For me the first option is always better, and I say that even though it is very realistic. The question is what good is having a legal financial condition, if you work with something you don't like and are unhappy about it. I don't see much sense, but I understand who chooses this path. After all, unfortunately, not everyone has the privilege to choose. If you have that possibility, I strongly recommend that you go with the first option. Always give preference to your happiness and self-satisfaction over financial gain. Having money is great, but it is no guarantee of happiness.

            An important detail to be aware of is knowing how to differentiate your hobby from your career. Hobby, or hobby, is an activity carried out with the aim of entertaining and distracting. Career is the chosen professional option with which the person will work for the rest of his life. I make these parentheses because when I say that you should work with what you like, some will associate it with their hobbies. It may work, obviously. But it may also be that this is not about what you would like to work with. For example, enjoying playing video games is completely different from working on creating one. Anyway, the hobby can be a good guide, but one must pay attention to the difference between doing something for fun and working with it.

            One thing I want to emphasize for you that is lost at that moment is that you do not despair. Well, eventually you will meet, it may take a while, but it will happen. I understand the concern about time, but certain things take a little longer to happen. With me, it took 4 years and 3 courses, with you it can be longer or faster, there is no way to know. Especially because each person has his rhythm, has his time, and this must be respected. So don't despair and rest assured that you will find yourself in your time.

            In my opinion there is no other method than trial and error, after all the only way to be sure about a certain option is to try. The important thing for me is to never give up, never to stop trying. If you wait for the answer to come from heaven locked in your room, it will never come. It is necessary that you actively search for it, then you will find it.

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Alexandre Souza

Alexandre Souza is a Brazilian novelist that writes dark and supernatural stories, and also explores fantasy and historical fiction. He’s earning a BFA in Creative Writing at Full Sail University. He has flash fictions published at Adelaide Magazine and Scarlet Leaf Review. He’s a mythology and supernatural geek and uses this knowledge to enhance his work.

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