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The IMA switch: what it’s like to leave Media for Interactive

When you start college, you enter armed with a bunch of expectations, future plans, a vision for yourself. At least these were the things I was supposed to have to convince my parents it’s a good idea to send their child from a small village in Poland to the other side of the globe. So when the program started, I went all in, overlooking along the way every single thing telling me that I might actually be more of an “Interactive” than I’d thought.

Detour road sign
Detour road sign / Photo by Luan Oosthuizen from Pexels

“But why would you even switch?”

“And what about coding?” Yes, coding is supposedly the biggest reason not to switch programs. The fact that you barely do any web design on the Media side makes it harder to keep up with this big part of the Interactive program. Unless you’re the kind of person who’d learn this “excruciating” content in their own time just for fun…

For a long time that was the way I played this game: learning Media by day and coding by night (here, insert the rest of Fiona’s curse from Shrek). That was until I heard that, best-case scenario, I would end up working in the news anyway. It took some time, fear, thinking, research, and a good piece of advice about following my gut, but the decision was made: no more worries about ending up in the news (unless I’m the star of the news story) – I’m switching.

Boy with a backpack
A boy walking away (not an actual photo of me) / Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

First days as an “Interactive”

It was really weird at the beginning – really, really weird. And scary. I jumped from a talkative group of movie enthusiasts, who’d managed to become my new family, to a quiet bunch of strangers who already had their inside jokes and friend groups. The only comfort was that at least the instructors stayed the same. Mostly.

I got through the first weeks, spending every moment of free time with my old Media group. Until one day they didn’t show up for lunch. So I had my first lunch with the Interactive people and everything else is, probably, history. It took that and a few more group projects to realize that those strangers are actually not as scary and strange as they seemed the first day.

“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” promotion materials

How it all turned out

The most important thing was that I was finally able to do what I enjoyed instead of something that just “looked cool.” Since the first coding class, I had no more doubts. It was still scary, it was, but I was reminded every day why I knew it was the right decision.

Looking back, I’d say you can’t always know what’s going to happen with your life and you can’t always be sure if you’re making the right decision. But then, you should probably follow your gut. Unless it leads you to the fridge at 1AM. Then maybe don’t.

One thought on “The IMA switch: what it’s like to leave Media for Interactive

  1. I really enjoyed your post from the perspective of a media student. Being already in the interactive stream, hearing the reasoning why one would switch from media to interactive is really interesting since most of us chose this stream to begin with. I wish i had the same passion and knowledge for coding as you do, and I would think some of us feel the same. Coding is a challenging thing to get in and started with and having that drive and desire to code is really helpful coming into a two hour daily class. Listening to yourself and your gut feeling is always the most important when it comes to big changes or decisions and everyone should keep that in mind. You know you best.

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