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Choosing the Right Courses and Programs

I am currently attending the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, also known as NAIT. It is a college that mainly focuses on the trades, dentistry and technology (yes you guessed it; it's a shock, I know). I am a member of the technology side of NAIT, as I am in the Digital Media and IT Program. What does that mean? Well, I am studying to become a web designer and I have to say that choosing NAIT, rather than the University of Alberta to get a Bachelor's of Science and Education like I was planning when I was in my last year of high school, was the best decision I have ever made.

Why, you might ask. Well, I had held the firm belief that I would attend the U of A and study sciences and education to become a biology teacher; however, I went through a life changing experience where I realized what I really wanted to do for post-secondary and for a career in general.

I had heard many teachers in high school talk about how teaching wasn't necessarily something they started their post-secondary journeys with and that it was a decision they made half way through their other programs at their respective universities or colleges. I thought that cases like these were very few and far between... until it happened to me.

It was the summer after high school graduation and I had already gained acceptance into the University of Alberta for a combined Bachelor's degree. I was content with going through five years of education, paying $8,000 a year, but then when it got closer and closer to starting, it was about a month before classes would start and it hit me: I didn't want to teach for the rest of my life. I didn't want to go to the U of A and spend that much money for a university/college education. As much as I loved biology and the thought of teaching, when I truly took a moment to consider what that would entail for the rest of my life, I didn't want any of it.

Yes, teaching has it perks, like summers off, but when it got down to it, teaching was going to be come work for me, rather than a job I could enjoy, so I considered what skills I had, what I enjoyed doing, that I could make a living off of. Writing was one of them, but having a successful and prosperous career as a writer, or writing, is sometimes easier said than done. Then, it hit me, web design.

I hadn't realized it, but I had already been doing this, for fun for the two years before this. I was making blog layouts and designs for my friends, I utilized the coding classes that I somewhat was paying attention in while in high school and I didn't even really know it, or rather consider it as a possible career before that point simply because to me, it was something fun to do. it wasn't work. It was something I truly enjoyed. Then this question came into mind: why not make a living off of it?

Within no time I was researching web design programs and courses, which is where I found that NAIT, the college that my father had attended, had a web design program. It was a perfect fit and it was almost as if it were meant to be. Here I am, almost two and a half years later and I am enjoying every second of my education.

So why did I write this? What is the point? Well, the point is to share a piece of advice with you. That advice being truly do what makes you happy for a career. Don't choose something for the sake of it being "glamorous" or the huge paychecks because if you do, there will come a point where you hate every second of what you are doing and you won't want to continue with it anymore. If you pick something that you already enjoy doing as a career, or pick a career that involves aspects of what you enjoy, like journalism if you enjoy analytic writing, or video game design if you enjoy playing video games. Simply because you are entering the adult world when going into post-secondary doesn't mean that you have to choose a career or education for the sake of it being the adult thing, or choice to do. Do what you love and you will love what you do. For those of you deciding on what you will do after high school, please, keep that in mind.
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