Maybe Next Year… a cautionary tale

My circumstances were as such that I needed to go to college directly out of high school. My first instinct was to major in art. And so I did, and quickly came to the conclusion that it would get me nowhere. It’s a fair assumption, no art teacher ever lectures in class about how lucrative charcoal drawing is, or the monetary benefits of painting. This is coupled by my first interactions with a few terrifying words, “RENT” being the scariest quickly followed by “LATE”. For the first time there was a very real sense that if I didn’t learn a marketable skill- and fast- I would be stuck at a job I hated for the rest of my life.

So I didn’t want to work a minimum wage job forever. Financial security needed to come before lofty dreams of being an artist. Not even security, just… not being verbally abused by the elderly, really. So I spent my time in college bouncing between different majors, all the while gravitating further and further away from art. I went through the education major for a year and became horribly disillusioned with education in America. I majored in Psychology only to learn that to ever practice I would need a Masters degree, something I had no money for or interest in acquiring. But here’s what it really comes down to: my school has a great Graphics Design program, and if I could do things over I would have applied for that in the beginning. It’s what I should have done. (shoulda, coulda, woulda.) I didn’t think I had what it took to be a Graphic Designer, and damnit, this has got to be the worst insecurity I ever had. Of course you’re not going to be good enough in the beginning! If you were they’d just hand you the fucking diploma on the first day. I had the loans and financial aid and spent all of it clambering to find a safer route that I could tolerate. Not enjoy, just be good at and not hate my life. I should have gone when I had the money and the time. Now that window of opportunity is gone, the money is gone and all I have to show for it is barely an Associates degree.

It’s come to my attention that I am an artist whether I like it or not. And try as I might, I’m not very good at anything else. If you want to go- GO. Stop worrying if you’re good enough or whether or not you’ll get paid. Resources can be found, money can be made. I know that now, I wish I had known it then.