Sunday, December 11, 2011

On Discouragement

I have had one hell of a time starting college. When I was in 8th grade, I wanted to be a writer. Somewhere along the line while doing a career research project, I realized how tough of a career that really was. I definitely don't want to spend years searching for a publisher only to have them demand books in a very short period and for not all that much pay. Being a writer is something I want to do on my own.

My views shifted to psychology. I love learning about the human mind. It also would help with important character development in that writing thing. I dropped that idea because there was just too much medical school involved.

I'm pretty sure Latin teaching was my next goal. It lasted for a long time, though it suffered fatal blows when my high school dropped me out and it came to my attention that I would have a monstrous amount of work to do in order to catch up. That wasn't the real killing strike, though. That came when I learned that my high school had cancelled their Latin program. I have no interest in teaching in a private school.

Now, I have my sights set on a Visual Arts program. I thought I would start in the fall. I didn't. I expected to wait another year, and suddenly, just a few days ago, I realized I could get in and start in January. I called the college a few days later to schedule an appointment.

They haven't called back yet. See, the program requires some stuff I'm not sure I can get, and with the enrollment deadline only 4 days away, I need to talk to someone who can answer my questions.

The program I'm interested in requires a recommendation from an art teacher and a portfolio. I can get a portfolio together, depending on what I need for it, but I had just one art teacher in high school. I didn't finish her class because I got dropped out. I don't even remember her name.

They seem to need a recommendation in general, now, which wasn't needed last I knew. With my favorite teacher retired and unreachable, I may have to ask a teacher who doesn't really know how good I've gotten at stuff in the past few years.

It's all been really discouraging. I'm sort of facing this possibility now that after everything I've done to get here, I might have to wait until the fall just because I can't get things done in time.

On the other hand, this stuff is wonderfully exciting.

I'm already a writer. I blog, I have a book published, and I have a webzine. It's not what I was going for originally, but it's an enjoyable, rewarding experience. I didn't need college to get me here.

I still plan on studying psychology, and I've learned a lot through independent research as my writing requires.

Part of the reason I decided against a teaching career was the limitations it would place on my art. No one wants their kids around a teacher who draws naked elves in her spare time. Not that I do, but you never know, you know? 

Art is what I like doing. In its many forms, it's always what I come back to, and even if a Visual Arts degree doesn't get me a career, it will certainly help me get the skills I need to make more money doing freelance work.

Really, what I expect from college is not to gain a career so much as to gain the knowledge and experience to make a living doing whatever I want to do. That's all anyone can hope to achieve, I think. 

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