I withdrew from university one day before my census date, and here is why.

You can blame everybody in your life for where you have ended up today and feel sorry for yourself or you can wake up, get out of bed at any age and say "I'm not doing this anymore". You've only got a certain amount of time here, and it's time to explore everything and question everything. Don't fall into a trap, sink into who you are. Just over a year ago I quit my retail job because I simply was not happy, I felt incomplete. I simply couldn't juggle my freelance photography hobby with a nine to five job at a clothing store, it didn't feel right. If you truly enjoy a passion, yes you will make time for it, but where does your happiness truly reside?

Over the course of last year I felt forced to build a name for myself, (and I still haven't got my hands on business cards). This was all in the right direction, especially considering I've remained in that disposable lifestyle of being a sole-trader at only twenty. I like to live my life without thinking too far ahead. I'm not in it for the money - but if photography could keep a roof over my head and feed me then taking on the world day by day was enough for me.

Eventually though, this lead to commercial opportunities that you can't really get creative with - but hey, I asked for all this, and from time to time I'm still doing this. From company head shots to product placements, I felt like I was playing it safe with my occupation, so studying that same interest to potentially further myself felt like a worthy idea. I was studying a Certificate IV of Photo Imaging for only a few months, and decided to drop out today. Instantly the thought of being a failure came to mind, letting down my parents who were willing to pay for the entire certificate being no where near the cost of a government subsidised place. I realise there are kids out there from other countries paying triple the amount out of their own pockets, but if I know my craft as a fine-art photographer then I'd surely realise much earlier than later that these commercial teachings aren't for me.

Learning is integral, don't get me wrong, especially in any creative field. This sounds a bit conceited, but I just wasn't ready to see my parents get slapped with a fee to teach Jackson what he already knew quite a bit of. Hey - even one of my lecturers admitted that out of all the decades of being a freelancer, they not once have been asked about their qualifications. My choice of profession luckily enough doesn't need things like this. If you're a people person with a worthy portfolio that covers attention to detail in order to fit a brief then yes you'll more than likely begin to earn a living off of what you love regardless of age, but the ability for the human eye to see difference and progression in your work amongst others is so much more rewarding.

I do believe that my course (although it was short) had taught me merited skills, but my passion stems deeply from motivation toward practice and being inspired by young creatives all around me. God knows what this decision will do to me, but I damn well know I've got it it in me to bounce back. 

You ruin your life through comparison and desensitisation, actions are dictated by your surroundings, but you choose them in the end, so put your heart in the front seat.

Jackson Grant