Fashion is more than just needles and thread, although some parents may not understand that.
Teenagers worry about one thing before, during, and after high school: “What am I going to do with my life?” Choosing a career is difficult, especially if you’re given only two options: doctor or lawyer.
Many Indo-Canadian parents tend to push their kids towards a conventionally respected profession that is highly-paid. When the subject of wanting to start a career in the fashion, marketing or makeup industries comes up, it tends to concern and even confuse parents.
To follow your dreams is challenging, which is why many teenagers decide to take an easier and safer path. Instead of taking the risk to follow a passion, many of us persuade ourselves to do “what makes more sense,” and wait for “the right time.”
As an Indo-Canadian female, I was raised thinking that going into the fields of sciences or law was my only option. Even though my parents didn’t push becoming a doctor or lawyer on me, it seemed as if everyone around me was going to college for those options.
I, however, was more into the arts, and had a strong passion for writing, sketching and photography. When I told my parents that I was considering a career in fashion, they were completely supportive because they understood how determined I was to follow my passion.
I enrolled in the Fashion Business & Creative Arts Program at a well-respected fashion institute. Although I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do with my future, I knew I was enjoying the courses I was taking in the program.
Taking the risk of following my dreams was the best decision I ever made, even though it was terrifying in the beginning. I was absolutely scared at first, wondering if I could really create a future in the fashion industry and if I didn’t follow through; I was scared of disappointing my parents.
There’s no denying that Indo-Canadian parents talk amongst each other, and when you have one parent saying that their kid is studying to become a doctor versus a fashion student, the odds are that many parents don’t understand what “creative arts” means.
And yes, you can be successful while doing what you love.
After graduating the fashion program at the institute, I learned more than I imagined I would. The program opened up many doorways for me that I didn’t know existed.
I soon realized how much I enjoyed social media and communications. Taking the risk to follow my dreams without knowing where they would lead, introduced me to many other career goals that I wasn’t aware of.
For those of you who are stuck between following your passion and taking randomly-selected college courses, take a minute to ask yourselves if you’ll be happy. I knew that if I had enrolled into a college and taken science classes, I most likely would’ve dropped out.
It was definitely terrifying being at fashion school and on the first day of school, I remember sitting at my desk thinking to myself, “What am I doing here?” However, as the days went on, I was not only learning more about the industry but also myself.
Halfway through the program, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my career goals. Sometimes, it requires taking a risk to open more pathways for your future.
Sure, the thought of following your passion is scary, but what do you have to lose? Everything you do in life is a lesson, and I am thankful for taking the fashion program because it has helped me accomplish many goals and triggered new ones.
As a South Asian woman, I understand that a few Indo-Canadian parents have a difficult time thinking outside of the box. As a young adult, you have to take charge of your own life and do things that will benefit your future.
If becoming a lawyer isn’t your dream, then don’t go to the college and waste your money. Make a list of pros and cons, and write down what you’re good at. From there, put in effort to doing more of what you’re good at and encourage yourself to make that your career. Soon, you’ll also have doors opening to greater things.
Can you be successful while doing what you love? Absolutely. Don’t wait for the right time to accomplish your goals because in reality, there is no “right time.”
Article written for South Asian Woman Magazine (Winter 2017 Edition)
Davneet Dhillon graduated from John Casablancas Institute with a diploma in fashion business & creative arts, and is currently working as a social media coordinator and freelance writer. She is a blogger who is pursuing a degree in journalism and communications.