Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A Surprise Success (it's the little things that count)

So just a little back story..
I dropped out of a public school at the end of year ten, I was fifteen and had been talked into an apprenticeship in commercial cookery. The prospect of earning money at such a young age was extremely enticing, especially when I wasn't doing so great at school. I started to fall behind like some young boys do, I got distracted whether it was girls, computer games, pot, I was just a typical suburban teen. After I noticed that I had fell behind, I started to get less and less interested in school work, the more I fell behind the harder it got and the less I cared. feeling slightly failed by the public school system I saw the apprenticeship as a way out, a way out where I wasn't 'quitting' I was moving on, taking a positive step for my future. The fact of the matter was that I wasn't going to succeed at school as a fourteen year old boy, I wasn't in the right sate of mind. Ten years later I have done some pretty awesome things and feel very accomplished, even lacking a good education I managed to purchase a house a few months after my eighteenth birthday, I have lived in the United Kingdom and traveled western Europe, I have won awards with my cooking and I now live in Adelaide city with my lovely girl friend.

At the end of last year I looked back and the last ten or so years and thought to my self "If this is what I can achieve with a drop out education, in a career I'm not passionate about, what would I be capable of if I applied myself to something I really love doing?.. if I challenged my self mentally not just physically?.. What could I do with a university degree?'' So after talking it over with my girl friend and gathering the support of my close friends and family I enrolled in university and got a casual part time job doing breakfast at a local pub.

Six months later I am just finishing my first semester in a preparatory program (alternative pathway program) at the University of Adelaide and have taken the first big step to achieving my dream! I want more than anything to get involved in computer game development, whether its programming, graphic design, even story boarding.. Its something I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember, I just never thought I'd ever be able to achieve it. The people that made computer games to me were like other peoples music icons or movie stars, they were the veiled heroes of my childhood. I remember playing the Legend of Zelda (it wasn't the first game I ever played) but I distinctly remember I was about six and was thinking to my self "how?!... how is this possible?.. how am I controlling the image on the screen!? what process did the person who built this game follow? where did they start? how did they put it in this cartridge so I could plug it into my TV and play it?" The whole thing was very fascinating and I just remember having this thought for so long. I'm now on my way to finding out! Admittedly I never chased this fascination up, I never dove any deeper in the industry than simply just playing the games I loved, it was enough for me like a Nirvana fan listening to every song over and over again wishing they could play guitar like Kurt Cobain and having no idea where to start!

So anyone who was involved in my discussion about the steam box and the survey about PC vs console gaming might be interested in my grades and feed back on that course.. Well this is what has inspired this blog post, I want this to be my feel good story, my fuck you to those public school teachers who never saw my potential, who told me I'd never amount to anything. My over all grades for my first semester of university are:

ICT: 93.7% High Distinction
UNI CULTURE: 92.3% High Distinction
BIOLOGY/PHYSICS: 76% Distinction
MATH: 74.74% Credit

And all I want to do now, is better and better! These grades might not look like much to some of you but to me its the best I'v ever done at anything! and after being convinced that I was never going to excel at anything academically these grades have shown me that anything is possible and that I can make my dream a reality, as long as I take control and push my self to success! This post isn't me trying to brag about my grades or anything like that, my hope for this post is that someone out there that feels like they have it tough at school or feels like they aren't suited to a class room environment reads this and finds some level of inspiration in it. Because if that's how you feel the likelihood is you probably aren't in the right state of mind for a class room environment, spread your wings find something constructive to do while you figure out what it is that your good at. I would never have been able to do so well at uni if I hadn't dropped out of school to become a chef, the things I have learnt as a chef; dedication, time management, organisation, adaptation, all these things I was never going to learn at school, and to be honest I had a lot of growing up to do first!

So let that be a lesson to all of you out there.... the only person that's in your way of success is you! don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The sooner you realize that you're the only person who can change your life, the sooner you can start to succeed!

I would just like to thank my friends and family for the support that they have given me, it has been invaluable. Especially from my Mum and my girlfriend!

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