Have you ever had someone tell you that you just weren't good enough? I have. I want to tell you my story from college that happened to me and a friend of mine. I won't use his real name so we will call him "R".
I took game development and design at college. It was a 2 year program. I loved it but I'm a slow learner so I had many people help me out. I got through all the classes either with high marks or just barely passing. My friend R took the 3D Animation program which is very similar and the classes were nearly the same. We both decided to take up 3D digital modeling. I did environments and props while R did character modeling. We did most of our work at the college on their computers.
Six Months to Graduation
The last 6 months were the toughest because we had to put together a demo reel to show potential employers after graduation. The first class was called Portfolio 1. This us where we planned out our final demo reels. I won't go in to details but basically the instructor was concerned I wouldn't finish my demo reel in time but I assured him I would. Same thing with R. We both just passed.
Three Months to Graduation
Down to the last 3 months, we had a class called Portfolio 2. It was the last class of the program. The instructor I had is the Animation Supervisor of the TV show "Rick and Morty". You may have heard of it. It was an honour to have him as my instructor. This is where things went downhill. I experienced multiple file corruptions and other setbacks. The instructor pulled me aside and said "You know you're failing, right? You're work is just not good enough. I don't think you'll graduate." Basically, if he approves of your work, you graduate. He decides your fate.
This instructor picks favourites and glorifies them every day. That crushed me. It left me feeling like I was not capable of anything. He told the same thing to R.
Something sparked inside of me. I started spending more hours every day working on my final, bugging my friends with questions to the point where they almost avoided me. 8 weeks later I showed my instructor what I have done. His response was "I am super impressed with all the effort you have put into this. You have shown me that you can do this. You might actually graduate." I felt more uplifted. He gave me some suggestions on changes in which I made those changes. Two weeks till graduation, my instructor told me he's 95% sure I would graduate.
Last Day of Classes
On my last day of college, I was putting together my final demo reel. I felt confident in it. One problem though. My college IT guys clear off the computers on the last day but they never told us what time they were going to do it. I turned in to panic mode and rushed to get something together to show my instructor so he could approve me for graduation. A classmate helped me render something out and I was able to hand it in the last second before my computer crashed. I was approved but I lost my demo reel but I remembered that I had all my files on my external hard drive and I would finish it over the break.
The Day Before Graduation Set Up
After the break, we had to set up our displays for our demo reels. Still feeling confident, I returned to the college the day before we had to set up to put my demo reel together. My external hard drive kept beeping and gave me a ton of error messages. I started to have a panic attack. I found my friend who is very tech savvy and knows a lot about data recovery. After diagnosing the issue, he told me my hard drive is corrupt, which means all my files are gone. I wanted to cry. My friend got all nervous and said "Is there any possibility you have back ups somewhere....anywhere?" Thats when I remembered, I had files on the computer I was working on on the last day of classes. I told my friend that and he said if I find that specific computer, my files will be there. I went to that class room, there was a class in there but the instructor of that class allowed me in and the computer that had my back up files was not being used. I felt relief and uploaded all the remaining files to my online Google drive. I finished my demo reel!
After the set up, I got everything working properly. I looked around the room and noticed that something wasn't right. There was no place for R. Turned out R didn't graduate. He didn't put in the extra effort to do better. I felt bad for him. Our classmates convinced him to retake the course when he can afford it.
Grad night was great. I got a lot of positive feedback from fellow students and strangers. All the instructors that told me I wasn't good enough were impressed. I got no negative comments. I feel like I finally conquered a fear that I had since forever..... the fear of failure. I now know I can overcome this fear if I work at it, even if it stresses me out in the process.
Don't let others tell you you're not good enough. Don't let the fear of failure get to you. One instructor I had always said "Don't quit, because once you quit is when you fail." The fear of failure haunted me through my 2 years of college. For a while I never saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Even at the end of the college years it seemed so distant. The one thing I wanted out of college was to graduate and find my dream job. I knew I had to strive farther to get there even if it killed me. During those last 3 months, I was super stressed. My skin broke out in rashes due to stress, I nearly stopped eating, lost sleep and may have annoyed the people around me. In the end, it was all worth it!