Ever since I started Analog Addiction my personality, and who I am as a human being as evolved; for the better. Throughout my high school years I was your typical “nerdy” outcast, I didn’t have many friends or family; but those I did have were closer to me because of it. I think in a way this allowed me to sit back and suss out the world around me, it allowed me to be a very good judge of character which is one trait I truly believe is one of my greatest assets.
During those high school years like many other teenagers, I struggled to truly realise what I wanted my life to become. My teachers didn’t give the best support infrastructure, so it was quite tough to come from a poor background and figure out what my future would entail. Since realistically, extra study after high school was just not financially smart. I used to truly regret the fact I didn’t further my studies, but when you enter a full time job after high school to support your parents who are low income earners, sacrifices just have to be made.
I entered my working days as a part timer at a petrol station, serving customers, cleaning the fuel tanks, stocking the shelves. The typical dead-end job. Which somehow I become quite good at, the awkward high schooler slowly dissolved into a people person, who could strike a conversation with any customer that entered the door. The popular kids from school who intimidated me didn’t exist, I felt like I was absolutely able to speak to anyone and feel like their equal. It’s strange what 6 months behind the counter can do to a persons confidence, not to say I was under-confident at school; I just toned myself down compared to all the other “jocks” who got their laughs from bullying other kids.
I even had the confidence to put my hand up for a managerial positions at my petrol station, which in hind-sight was something I never believed I could do. Me in-charge of others, running a store, was I crazy? Maybe. But that craziness got me the job. That kid who found himself as the outcast in high school had now made his way to running a shitty petrol station, even though the job was shitty the experiences were well worth it. Those daily talks with salesman, those days spent delegating tasks and those days becoming friends with customers in a whole new suburb were amazing. The work wasn’t fun most of the time, but I was doing things I never imagined, opening the doorway as my personality grew into the person I am today.
These 2 years provided me with the excess time to figure out the line or work I wanted to dive into, the career I wanted to dedicate my entire life too, the kid who many clarified as the outcast in high school wanted to enter journalism. Who would have thought that? After casually writing blogs to express my opinions on games I love, I eventually realised that this, this was the task I wanted to do on a daily basis. When writing a 5,000 word essay at school my brain cringed, but writing a 5-part review of an MMO made me smile.
They say “Do what makes you happy” and “Follow your dreams”, but let’s be honest the world is a cruel place and most likely it will be hard to accomplish both of these. It is a bleak outlook, but sadly with prices going up, job vacancies going down, and most work places looking for people with experience and won’t hire new employees to get that experience. We are provided with a vicious cycle of unemployment, which is something most teachers won’t tell you. If you are unfortunately not handed a University entry, or the funds to allow further studies it is definitely tough to make your way through the crowded job lines. Though hope is certainly not lost, credentials are of course one thing, yet determination and passion are qualities that I find stronger than a degree. Finding ways to struggle through the tough times in life, defeating the odds countless times and still coming out on top are qualities some take for granted; yet these qualities outshine those who have lived a privileged life enjoying the privileges that many unfortunate individuals could only dream of.
If somehow you are reading this and you are in high school right now, maybe you don’t know where you want your future to go, maybe you don’t have the open opportunities like some others. Don’t lose hope.
You are never down, and even the outcast can find themselves and evolve into someone they truly thought wasn’t who they were going to be. Finding yourself is no easy task and most teachers have hundreds of students to focus on during their high school tenure, so it may seem you are lost in the crowd. But don’t get discouraged, if you have that determination, that dedication and the heart to grab life with a firm grasp and say “THIS is what I want”; you are never out.
Each day I feel like my dream of working in the journalism field I love, becomes ever closer, and I continue to strive towards that goal without allowing hurdles to get in my way.
If I can do it, so can you. Never lose hope on “Following those dreams”, even if those dreams take awhile to appear.
Jamie Briggs manages Analog Addiction and you can like them on Facebook, follow his daily life on Twitter @JamieAA, his personal blog and his videos on YouTube.