”..human life happens only once and therefore we can never find out which of our decisions were right and which were not. In the given situation we have only been able to decide once and we have not been given a second, third or fourth life to compare the results of our different possible decisions..”
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Since I was little I’ve had the need to control the outcomes of every situation I’ve encountered. Curious, my mother called me, but actually, I have a severe case of overthinking, I like to know why, how, when, where and the what ifs of every decision I make. It gives me peace of mind to know the possible outcomes of things and why they are so. Sometimes people refer to me as organized, and most of the time this behavior has been beneficial to me although on occasions, it is stressful and it makes me fear to make the wrong choices.
It is normal to find ourselves in situations where we do not know for sure how certain decisions we make will impact us in the future. The best example of this type of situation is the choice of career, in my case, I knew that I wanted to study Industrial Design because I found in it a way to express my ideas, skills and my love for social work. The certainty with which I started my first year of college decreased in the following years as my idea of Industrial Design became contradictory to the content taught by some of my professors.
Someone once said, the more you learn the less you know, and it is true in some way, while my knowledge regarding industrial design grew, so did my fears about everything I did not know. My school prepared me to follow my intuition and my aesthetic sense, as well as to follow production regulations and properties of materials, yet, it did not teach me how to evaluate the result of my designs or the decisions taken throughout each project.
In exhibitions, conferences, and networks I saw how well-founded design and design with a social purpose, more than large-scale design for production, was acclaimed. This fear of not knowing how to argue the decisions that I took on projects in an objective and scientific manner, in addition to my idea about the responsibility of design in social and sustainable development, encouraged me to take classes in the engineering faculty and to take part in different projects that sought to redefine design and engineering, such as BAJA SAE. A multidisciplinary team that designs, builds and competes with a prototype of an all-terrain vehicle. In two years with BAJA SAE, I acquired knowledge about the relationship between industrial design and automotive engineering and how aesthetics is also related to the emotional and physical senses of users.
In addition to this, I worked on a project with FORD Mexico in the development of a concept for autonomous cars in Mexico City. If at any time I doubted my career decision, if I underestimated my ability to be part of engineering projects, I overcome it with courage, maybe at the time it was not clear if the result of the decisions would be good or bad, but in the end, they brought me here, to Skövde. From my window, I can see the campus of the University of Skövde, in which I find myself completing my last year of university in the Product Design Engineering program.
Engineering, a big word that two years ago was intimidating has now been of my interest because it complements the knowledge that I already had regarding industrial design. Engineering is a field in which we can do so much, from designing electronics, furniture, vehicles, services, interfaces and new technology.
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It’s a really exciting, problem-solving career, anything you choose to go into with engineering is going to be engaging, interactive and meaningful to many people.So if you are doubting the decision to study a career out of fear, I can only say: Take the chance.
Taking challenges even if they are outside the perception I have of my abilities, has always, in the end, resulted in personal growth and have helped me take part in projects that help developing communities, which has always been one of my greatest goals. One of the biggest fears we usually have is the fear of failure. And it arises from the insecurity of not having the necessary skills or basic knowledge about what we seek to achieve.
My intention behind this blog post is not to give a motivational speech on overcoming fears, on the contrary, overcoming fears is not the solution to the problem, the best way to deal with them is with courage and confidence in the improvement of our skills. Of course, fears are real, take for example the fear of living in a foreign country where you do not know the language, the challenges of living abroad and being alone are overwhelming, or the fear of making the wrong career choice, or the fear of failing the challenging class you need to take. Does this mean you should not live abroad? You should not pursue the career that interests you, or that you should not take the challenging class? Definitely not. I have done all those things and it does not mean I have not gone through failures, in fact, I have failed many times.
But failing is how I have learned that fear although necessary should not be suffered. We will irrevocably fail at times and fear it over and over but what matters is really how we see those failures. Do we see them as a loss or do we see them as experience, knowledge and of course opportunities to become better, to try harder or to take different paths we had not considered possible before?
We will experience fear in countless aspects but human life happens only once and therefore we can never find out which of our decisions were right and which were not. In the given situation we have only been able to decide once and we have not been given a second, third or fourth life to compare the results of our different possible decisions. And even if we do not finish where we wanted to be, it does not mean that we will not get there eventually, everything always depends on our courage to move forward, with or without fear, determined to reach the goals even if we take a longer route, they often turn out to be surprisingly fun and meaningful.
Wenny Ramirez Garcia
National Autonomous University of Mexico UNAM – Bachelor Program in Industrial Design
The University of Skövde – Bachelor program in Product Design Engineering
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