First time college students tips

Emmanuel was born and raised in North Miami, FL. He currently resides in Hollywood, FL. Emmanuel recently received a Bachelor of Art in Arts from Florida International University with a focus in electronic art. Always the creative and soft spoken individual, he found his way in expressing himself through his digital art. However, Emmanuel truly wishes to work as a graphic designer. He has experience working in several Adobe applications such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro and has some background in digital photography and photo editing.

Before I was even close to graduation in high school I had already decided which major I wanted to progress in: Computer Engineering. Ever since I was little I’d like building stuff up or remodeling it into something else and I always liked technology, so my dad put it in my head that should I major in engineering. To make him proud that’s what I ended up doing. He also recommended me to apply to FIU, the same school my cousin graduated from with honors. I had applied to two universities by graduation time: FAU and FIU. Florida Atlantic accepted me within 3 weeks after I sent in my application but I had to wait another 4 months before FIU finally accepted me.
I started out in the summer term of 2010 and things were going pretty good until my second semester. It was a major turning point now that I look back on it. I failed College Algebra with a ‘D’ and had to take it again next semester. That time around I passed but as I was going through all these mathematics and science courses I realized that this wasn’t something I was really into. Also I had been involved in a few clubs on campus, specifically SPC-BBC (the Student Programming Council of Biscayne Bay Campus) and made several promotional flyers, posters, and such for their events. As I kept creating them, I realized that I love doing it; that I love creating digital art and working with digital media. I thought of changing my major but FIU no longer had a graphic design program. The only options that resembled what I wanted to do were Art and Communications. Being the creative person that I am, I wanted to choose Art. However, I didn’t wish to make any rash decisions so I waited until I was absolutely sure. The decision was finally made towards the end of my sophomore year when I took Calculus. That had to me the most difficult class I have ever taken, no matter what I did I simply good not get decent scores on quizzes and exams. I even went to tutoring! Instead of wasting my time and potentially hurting my GPA, I dropped the course the day of the Add/Drop date and made the official choice to change my major to Art.
I explained my situation to everyone and they understood my reasoning. My mom, brothers, cousins, friends, and advisors all supported my decision. My dad on the other hand was disappointed. This being because he expected me to become an engineer all this time. It’s known that older generations, especially the older Haitian generations, want their children to study either medicine, engineering, or law. Also, they don’t particularly like art majors and think we’re wasting our effort trying to find work in the industry. Finding myself and what I wanted to do despite my father’s objections was the most important life lesson I learned while in college.
I worked hard, taking late afternoon and early morning art classes. One of the difficult things in the art world is finding and fine tuning your sense of perspective of what art is. You have to discover and explore what media is best for your work or vision, and you must be able to discern other works of art in some way. It wasn’t easy but I came out just fine. Now I have my BA in Art with a 3.4 GPA. I still continue to help my on campus clubs whenever they need support and come to any alumni themed events. Go Panthers! As of now, I’m looking for any part time or full time positions as a graphic designer in the marketing and social media industry. In the meantime, I’m trying to do some freelance work until I find employment. My advice to other college students is find what makes you happy and work towards that goal; don’t give up either.

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