I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out how to start this. Let me start out with the basics. My name is Cynthia and I’m a 24-year-old full-time student. I’m currently attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising for Visual Communications.
I have always known that I’ve wanted to be involved in the fashion industry but I just never knew how. I always loved looking at magazines and flipping through the pages. I would look at the models and the amazing clothes that they would wear. I always wanted to be like them. However, growing up was tough. I didn’t have wealthy parents that were able to get me what I wanted when I wanted it. I did have parents that worked hard to give me the necessities. Like many children and teens now, my parents were constantly splitting up and getting back together. One day they just decided that they were better off without each other.
Due to the separation I had a constant battle with myself. I couldn’t stand knowing that my parents weren’t together anymore. I started to rebel and even lost sight of all my dreams. Nothing mattered anymore. My family and I weren’t close during my teen years. I felt alone. My older brother who is 8 years older than myself was always working. My mother was never really around and I had a younger sister who was 11 years younger than myself.
When I was 16, I nearly lost my life and I can honestly say that this tragic event brought my family closer together. We didn’t become close overnight but we definitely started to see each other in a different light. I started working jobs to try to pay my bills. None of which really caught my attentions. I always found something wrong with every single job that I had. Then I finally realized that it was because of the fact that they were JOBS and not a career. I received my Associates of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and then realized that wasn’t my dream.
I went on to get a job at the corporate office for Forever 21. I was working for their Customer Service Department and got promoted quickly. Within a matter of months I had been promoted to a Lead Representative and months after that I started filling in for a Supervisor on maternity leave. Life was starting to get better but I still wasn’t happy. I was getting paid over $16/HR and extremely miserable. I wanted to do something with my life that was going to be epic. The reason why I stayed at Forever 21 was because my mom wasn’t working and we were losing our home. I wanted to somehow help her either save our home or help us find a new place to move to. There came a day when I just couldn’t stand being bitter about my situation any longer. I had a long talk with my mother and let her know that I couldn’t do this anymore. I needed to take a new route.
After much deliberation, I finally realized what I needed to do. I started speaking to one of my colleagues about continuing my education and they had mentioned the Fashion Institute to me. I expressed interest in Visual Communications. My school had a program for what I wanted to study. I contacted the school and got all of the information that I needed. I applied worked on their entrance project and then got accepted. It was the most happy yet nerve wrecking moment in my life.
I had a choice to make. Stay at a job where I wasn’t happy but making a decent amount of money, or, go to an amazing school and follow my dreams. The situation I was in at that moment screamed stay where you are. Continue on this path to be able to help your mother and younger sister. Then the other part of me said, “GO FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND GET THE CAREER YOU WANT AND DESERVE.” I can honestly tell you that this was the hardest decision of my life. I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving what I knew for the unknown. Especially not under my circumstances. After many weeks of thinking long and hard about this it was time to make a decision.
In December of 2014, I decided to embark on a new journey. I decided that wondering
WHAT IF was not going to be acceptable. I chose to further my education and sail towards my career. To a place where I knew I was going to be happy. This was absolutely terrifying but I knew it was time to apply what I had learned in all of my previous jobs in the real world.
It is now 6 months later and I am two quarters into my Visual Communications program. Even though this has been a challenging journey I can’t begin to tell you how amazing this feels. I believe in myself and in my skills. I am much more confident now than I ever have been.
I decided to share a bit of my journey with whoever reads this in hopes of helping one of you out. In hopes that someone will read this and be able to relate to this, or, simply need a little bit of encouragement. You can do anything if you set your mind to it. I think we limit ourselves to believe that something isn’t possible and then we choose to settle. Please don’t settle. Unless you are 100% percent sure you’re not settling. We all deserve greatness and can achieve greatness. I can honestly tell you that it has definitely been a bumpy road for myself. I haven’t given up and don’t have the intentions to. I plan to keep pushing myself to greatness. I will achieve it and share that story with everyone as well.
Those dreams that you have aren’t just dreams. They can become a reality. Believe in yourself and have a little faith. Anything can happen. Remember that life is short. Make sure that when you leave this earth you feel accomplished and happy with the person that you are.