The Last Chapter: Keyla Shepard

It was in the sixth grade when my teachers were getting my mind ready for my future and what I wanted to be when I grew up. At the time, I was unsure of what I wanted my career to be, but I knew right off the bat that I did not want to become a doctor, lawyer or even the President of the U.S. I knew I wanted to do something related to the arts, whether it be visual or performing. After reading the book “Razzel” by Ellen Wittlinger, I started to have a love for photography.

Of course, there were other things I was interested in career-wise, but photography spoke to me the most. My middle school did not offer art or photography classes, so I did not take my first photography class until I entered high school. When doing research on photography, I was introduced to so many different types of photography. Through my research, I have learned that there is a lot more to photography than just the clicking a button.

After taking photography courses at FMU, I have a much better understanding of the world of photography and art in general. One main thing I have learned with all of the courses I have taken while at FMU is that I cannot possibly learn everything I need to know for a certain class within a semester or even a year. Six courses on photography hardly covers everything I need to know about the subject. There is still a lot more for me to learn. When entering college, the goal is to graduate within four years, but that honestly is not always enough. That is just enough time to complete the classes that are offered.

When I started attending FMU, I did not want to only take classes. I wanted to get involved in organizations on campus and meet new people along the way. I started working for the student newspaper my junior year in college. When I first started off photographing for “The Patriot,” I was excited to finally get paid to do what I love. Being a part of the student newspaper has given me a lot of opportunities to get involved in events on campus and meet new people.

Photography is quite an amazing field to me, but there are some downfalls to being an art major. By majoring in art, I have learned that not everyone is going to be supportive of what I want to do with my life. People have tried to change my mind and convince me to take up other majors, but changing my major was something I would not do.

Even today, many people wonder why I am focusing on photography instead of something that will allow me to earn a lot of money. It’s not about the money for me. With my years of college, I have learned that I have to go my own way. There will be people along the way to help me, but I have to live my own life and not let someone else live it for me. I cannot change my mind and goals based off of others’ opinions. Everyone has his or her own opinion of things. I can’t please everyone. This is something that all students should keep in mind. With that statement, I say farewell, keep your heads held high and live life with no regrets.