Yesterday, I talked about obstacles in going to college (since I’ve painted myself into a corner).
But today, I’m asking – even if I could actually figure out a way around those obstacles, would it even be worth it?
I constantly hear about a people having a hard time finding jobs, and having the worst time paying back a crushing amount of student loan debt.
(For you meticulous readers saying, “Didn’t I read your parents were going to pay for college?” That was an offer given to a high school senior, not a grown adult woman. Because of a confluence of events – health (and so much time off school), work, and economy related, the offer no longer stood after my first summer on America’s Got Talent – so rid that idea from your mind.)
I love being free, and not having to worry about student loan payments every month. But, do I feel less free than the people trapped by money? I am sort of trapped opportunity-wise (ish), I think.
For a non-college graduate, I’m doing well. But I do what I do, and that’s pretty much the end of my road. I can’t really imagine breaking into any other fields without a degree.
Now, you might be saying, “But, don’t you want to be some amalgamation of writer/entertainer/activist/entrepreneur when you grow up? Pretty sure you don’t need a degree for that, Aurora!”
You’re right. You don’t need one. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t help. For one thing, the activist part of that – how much of an activist do I really want to be? Do I need a JD? Do I want to actually work in politics as my day job? Or do I just want to (for instance) volunteer at Planned Parenthood once a week?
The writer part – is it going to make me that much of a better writer if I were more educated? Maybe. I was reading an article about the Simpsons writers’ room the other day, and at least one had a PhD! Many had advanced degrees.
Of course, access to knowledge is pretty unending at this point with the internet. So, if really all I want is knowledge, I can just go read about stuff.
But, is that all I want?
Or do I need the prestige of that piece of paper, which just may open doors?
I will write (and sing) until the day I die. I will never give up on the bigger dreams. But, what I’ve realized, is being out of school doesn’t make it any easier to live those dreams. It’s still just a sea of rejection all the time. I could easily be getting rejected from a bunch of various programs, festivals, and more while in school.
What I’ve been realizing is that I’ve been doing my day job for four years. (Four years!) It could be another 10 until I have a musical on Broadway – or another 50. And I’d like my day-to-day life (if possible) to be something I could be very happy with until bigger goals are achieved.
There’s a lot of great stuff about working in reality TV. It’s extremely flexible. I could come and go all day if I needed to at my current job, and no one would notice. Not to mention, I get about 5 months off a year. So, truly, what more could you want?
Well, possibly, you could want to feel like you’re giving back to the world (more so than you’re taking or tarnishing). (Granted, that is way more true of some shows and not others. I’m not specifically putting down any shows I’ve worked on. Luckily, I’ve gotten hired on non table-flipping (in anger) shows.)
But do you actually want a job that gives back? Almost all entry-level (and some right above entry-level) jobs (at least that I’ve seen) pay way less than what you make as an assistant editor – and you actually have to work the whole year!
Work a lot more in order to make a lot less – after taking on years of tons of debt… Is that something that sounds right?
But, maybe it doesn’t feel like work if you love it so much… And perhaps what you give up in comfort, you make up for in content-ness.
Switching gears, forget future opportunities for a second. What about the idea of having a new experience? I think it might be fun to be on a sports team or in a club, to hang out on a quad and all that stuff.
And then, let’s go to a different argument tomorrow.