So, for those of you unfamiliar with this one, it was a challenge to come up with a little quip, slogan if you will, that I would have liked to have been told when I was considering my choices for uni [and I went out on a limb and extended that to life in general, post high school]
Despite the inherent cheese factor of reducing any advice to the length of a slogan, I liked the premise of this assignment. While I don't think any one liner is going to offer help in life direction, what they can do is promote thought, and hopefully, a conversation about it. I gave thought to this one and at first I'd settled on a very simple "work hard." and while I mentioned this in a previous post as still probably the most valuable piece of advice for a uni student, it doesn't in any way help those who don't really know what they want to do, and where they want to go in life.
Back to the drawing board I went, this time actually thinking about me back then, fresh out of high school, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Without going into what is an interesting but unrelated life story, the long and the short of it was I did a fair bit of humming and haa-ing after school. Periods of backpacking interspersed with resitting year 12 at a senior campus, as well as a year of a science degree at UWA means that there was definitely advice I could have used.
What I realised eventually, the thing that made me settle down and stay on a course, was that there are things in this world that I'm good at. Whether it's natural talents like my people skills, which I've just always had, or acquired traits such as my penchant for performance or my abilities with a lot of tech, there were things that I did and do well. Essentially, what I did, and what I think other people should do when trying to decide where to go in life, is to "play to your strength"
My slogan and how I presented it are a testiment to playing to your strenghts. In the assignment it said that we should decorate the letters of our slogan. The problem with this for me, is that I am not arty in any way. I learned what the primary colours are literally 4 months ago. I'm 23 for gods sake. I knew I wasn't going to be able to compete with the no doubt significantly more creatively minded kids I'm up against. What I do well though, is working hard, and techy things. The idea came to mind that if I painted my slogan on a wall [where no one would mind, nothing annoys me more than idiots who munt up peoples houses and businesses] I'd be able to create a short time lapse video that would look great. I played to my strengths and I am incredibly proud of that came out of it.
It must be said that all of this would not have been possible without the the aid of my housemate and rogue photographer josh, who had the mind numbing job of doing nothing but pressing the shutter every 30-40 seconds. Fortunately he, like me, loves where I was planning to do the work. He snapped off a few more great shots that I'll share with you to highlight why I choose where I did.
The second part of the assignment was to put up my slogan somewhere that was significant to me. I chose the abandoned powerstation in South Fremantle. It's one of the most magnificent places on earth for a number of reasons. Frist of all, it's huge, like really really huge, it's size can be somewhat comprihended in the following shot.
Up the top there you can see another reason the powerstation means so much to me, those are two young schoolies we ran into as we were doing our project. There is this perfect golden mean of knowledge about the station, enough people know about it that there is some of the best street art in the state there, and you're always likely to run into some cool crew [we ran into 2 other pairs of people with camera and tripod] as well as some more young explorers like the ones we met above, but it isn't filled with heaps and heaps of tools looking to cause trouble for anyone.
Playing to your strengths has worked for me, whether it's for this assignment or for life in general. If you're one of those people who doesn't think they have any strengths all I'd say is don't compare yourself to others. In this networked world finding someone who is better than you at whatever you think you're good as takes about 2 seconds on youtube. Have some confidence and use what advantages you have.
I'll leave you now with some more of the shots Josh took while we were on this mission