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Student Spotlight: Paige Yanchycki

Student Spotlight: Paige Yanchycki

My name is Paige Yanchycki, and I started attending Assiniboine during the fall of 2021. Prior to that, I was a student at Brandon University from 2015 to 2019 and received my Bachelor of Arts majoring in history. I really enjoyed my time in university, but I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do with my education.

When I started, I was 18 at the time, and I knew I wanted to further my education, but I hadn’t figured out the path I wanted to take. Most of my lessons and classes had me doing research and writing a lot of papers. Don’t get me wrong, I love history and it really interests me, but the more I thought about my career options down the road, I just wasn’t sure if they were something I’d be content doing long-term. So, even after I graduated from university, I was still unsure what kind of career I wanted to pursue.

During my time in university, I took a few fine art classes, which included very traditional lessons like drawing and painting. These are things I’ve always enjoyed, but it didn’t really click with me that I could pursue something like that as a career.

After graduation, I spent some time working and thinking about what it was that I enjoyed doing, things I’ve done in the past, and what I was passionate about. I remembered really enjoying the graphic design courses when I attended high school at Crocus Plains, and my class was lucky enough to be able to come to Assiniboine and tour around campus to learn about the creative media programs. So, after having more time to think things over, it just kind of made sense; it was something I was excited to pursue, and I decided to apply to the Digital Art and Design program.

It might sound kind of corny, but I’ve truly enjoyed my classes so far in the Digital Art and Design program. In our first term, we took a few introductory courses called Interactive Communications and College Foundations, which aren’t specific to the program itself, but I still found them very interesting. They taught me lessons and skills I wish I had during my other time in post-secondary education.

For courses specific to Digital Art and Design, I’ve really enjoyed learning how to program and code. I had no experience whatsoever in these areas when I first came into the program, and it’s been fun to learn. It feels so rewarding starting from nothing, a blank canvas or just an idea, and being able to build something. In high school, I never took any of the coding classes available. I knew it was an option, but I always told myself I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole, and I certainly never thought I’d have a use for it in a future career—I can kind of laugh about it now.

Some of my favourite things so far in the program have been learning the basics of HTML, CSS and Javascript. Even with such a short time in the program, I can look back at my first-term projects and compare them to the things I’ve worked on and created in the second term and see such a big improvement. I know I keep talking about coding, but it’s surprised me how much of that area I’ve enjoyed. I think people take websites for granted and the work that goes into coding and designing them. You use them every day, but you don’t really think about the work building them. So, it’s cool to think I’m learning how to create them myself even though I’m just starting to dip my toes into it.

Other areas I’ve really enjoyed are learning about branding, typography, storytelling, and content writing. A project we’re working on right now in one of the classes is creating some mock rebrands for the college radio station, CJ106 FM. It’s quite extensive and interesting to see how the process works: researching the brand story and working on visual elements to put it all together in one package. I’m not sure if any of the ideas will actually be used, but it’s cool to see the different concepts that everyone is working on.

The instructors are all so delightful; they are passionate about what they do, which is so important. It feels like they get excited to teach us new things every day. My classmates are great too. The first term, we didn’t get as much time together with COVID restrictions and remote learning, but it’s nice now to be able to work and be in a classroom together more. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and seem to have their own areas that they’re really good at.

I’m proud of myself for having the courage to go back to school after already completing my first round of post-secondary education. I think it’s a common feeling for every young adult, to feel worried that if you don’t find your path the first time you’ll never get it right. It’s ridiculous to think that I was so worried about being 26 years old by the time I’ll graduate from this program. It’s so silly, but I think it’s common for young people to think that way. You see so much on social media about how successful people are and their accomplishments, but you have to remember everything you see on there is basically one big highlight reel. But it makes you question your own successes, instills fear, and makes you ask if what you’re doing is good enough. Being able to get over that fear and pursue something I really wanted to do—which was coming to Assiniboine and taking a program that I really enjoy and am excited to be in—I’m really proud of myself for that.

Learn more about our Digital Art and Design program.