Friday, November 20, 2009

Guidance Counselor for a day

"You seem to be struggling in your business classes, but you're getting excellent grades in your art classes and public speaking." I sat in my guidance counselor's office at the end of my 2nd year of college, reviewing my transcripts. Macroeconomics. Microeconomics. Statistics. Latin. Photography. Public Speaking.... My counselor studied my grades, making mental notes, mulling them over, chewing on them, and finally spitting them out. He asked about my aspirations and I replied that I wanted to be a business major, of some sort. I didn't even really know what that meant, but I heard it made a lot of money and would be a successful career path. Oh, and my parents wanted me to do it. That, or become a doctor or a lawyer. But I could hear the doubt in my counselor's voice.

In all honesty, I wanted to be an artist. I loved art. I was in the National Art Honor Society in high school - Vice President of the club, even. But how do I make a career out of art? It was not deemed a profitable path. At least not usually until your dead - ask Van Gogh or Vermeer. Except I wasn't Van Gogh - I was the shopkeeper that sold him his paint and linseed oil. But my counselor sat in his chair and convinced me that if art was what I loved, then I would find a way to make a career out of it and be successful. I was sold. I had a new major. I was happy. My happy bubble only popped after I left his office and realized I had to break the news to my parents. But, I did it. I majored in Studio Art with a concentration in Photography and Digital Media. I've been working as a successful graphic designer for the past 9 years, and I owe it first and foremost to that one person who believed in me and believed I could do anything I wanted, as long as I had the drive and determination.

The roles were reversed 2 days ago when I was invited to be a "guidance counselor" to several students at a local alternative high school. The school was hosting a Career Information Fair for these "second-chance" kids. It was an opportunity for the students to gain knowledge about different career paths. I saw it as an opportunity to convince them that they could do anything they set their minds to, and to shape their beliefs that no goal is unattainable with hard work. One of the students totally got it when he said, "So you're saying that if it doesn't happen the first time, then try, try, try, and try again?" YES! I don't know if what I talked about convinced any students to pursue their passion or changed any minds that morning, but if I gave even one person hope for their future, then my time spent was well worth it. Pin It


  1. If there was a "like" option (like on fb) for this post, I'd click it.;)

  2. Laurie, very inspiring. Thank you for sharing. This entry in your blog convinces me the more that I'm on the right track pursuing my dreams.

    Veronica Salazar


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