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  • Writer's pictureElise Pelot

My Journey to Interior Design

Interior design has always struck a chord with me. I loved being creative from a young age. Something about planning, painting, and decorating a room has always sounded fun to me. As a little girl, I would love going to Home Depot and picking out paint swatches even when we weren't painting anything at the time. From that, I ended up growing a collection of paint samples. Even though interior design interested me from a young age, I never seriously considered it as a career for myself. My main career goal was to find a job that centralized around helping people. Interior design did not seem to fit that criteria. Boy, was I wrong.

Entering my senior year of high school I was sure that George Fox University was the school for me. I went into school as a social work major. That seemed to be a job that was all about helping others. That was what I wanted to do. Flash forward to my first semester at George Fox and I would soon realize social work was not the job for me.

The first semester was filled with lots of learning curves and with that I learned a lot about myself. One of the major things I realized was that I tend to carry other people's burdens very heavily. When the people around me are hurting, I hurt. The definition of social work is "work carried out by trained personnel with the aim of alleviating the conditions of those in need of help or welfare". In simple terms: carrying the burdens of others. The role of a social worker is to be there for people when they need help and are going through rough times. The truth I realized about myself, is that I would not be able to leave my work at the office; it would come home with me everyday. Social workers must be people who can step out of work life and into home life without being weighed down by the trauma they see daily. I am in awe of social workers for that very reason. They do so much good for this world while taking on so much. We need more social workers! I learned I am just not the right person for the job.

Realizing social work was not the right path for me was a hard truth to face. All I wanted to do was help people, and yet I couldn't do it the way I had pictured. So as I did more research into other majors, I learned that Fox had an interior design program. From the minute it became an option for me, I felt a weight was lifted and excitement filled me. As I prayed about it, God reminded me that even if a job does not have the word "help" in its definition, it does not mean you aren't helping. Interior designer's can help people build their dream home. I find it so important to design spaces that feel uniquely you and reflect your style. I want to help people create a home they can make memories in.

Recently, I redid my own room. It had been the same for 5 years and I was in desperate need for some change after coming home from college for the summer. I felt like my room reflected my 14 year-old self more than it reflected my 19 year-old self. It is very important to live in a space that reflects where you are in your life. Because I had a small budget, I went for the cheapest way to change a room... paint. By painting a room it can change the whole space and create a completely different atmosphere. Then, I simply moved furniture around to create new movement in the room. By the time it was finished, it felt like a different room that better reflected who I am today.

My whole life I had one definition of helping people and only a few specific career paths that fit that definition. In one semester of college, I learned that there are numerous definitions and SO many career paths that include helping people. Interior design includes both, being creative and helping people design their dream space. I am so happy I have found my calling and I am so excited for what the future holds for me in the interior design field.

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