Today I’m revisiting a guest post I wrote last July for a blog about being in your 20’s. A lot has changed, but my general ideas about being young and hopeful are still the same.
I can’t imagine a time when I wasn’t absolutely positive I’d find a place for myself in the film or television industry. It’s this gut feeling I’ve had for as long as I can remember, and although it may be naïve, it’s something I’ll never give up on.
I graduated in May of 2013 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film & Television Production from The University of Arizona. I plan to attend graduate school in the near future in pursuit of a master’s degree in film studies.
Graduate school seems like the most logical next step, particularly since I love to learn and feel as though I haven’t gotten my fill quite yet. My interests include festival programming, film criticism, screenwriting, and production design — and I’m going to try my best to give them all a shot. As a 22-year-old with a degree, I’m feeling okay so far. I may be practically unemployed, but I’m getting by, and I’m happy.
During college I worked really, really hard. I had an assortment of jobs and internships and a consistently full course-load. I made sure to keep an exciting social life because the weekends and my friends were all that kept me sane. I barely slept, developed a coffee addiction, and forced myself through it all. Here I am, finally on the other side, and it feels great. I have a degree and time to sleep — but more importantly, time to rediscover myself.
Although I’m so tremendously happy it’s over, I did enjoy college. I figured out who I was, who I wanted to be, and what my priorities were. But now that I’m done, I still have more discovering to do. In the meantime I’m reading, writing, watching movies, and catching up with old friends. It’s great.
The catch is, I don’t have much money.
Luckily my parents are nice enough to let me live with them for the summer, and my boyfriend and I found a place that has cheap enough rent that my savings can suffice for a few months.
But the truth is — I’m practically unemployed. I had two amazing jobs the last half of college that I lost once I graduated because they were for students only. Once I left those jobs, I found myself very reluctant to find something new. I wanted (and needed) a break from the traditional workplace. So I’ve spent this summer babysitting and have actually made okay money. Not young-professional-with-a-degree money, but money nonetheless.
What I’ve decided is that, right now, I’m okay with scraping by, as long as I’m doing what makes me happy. In the next month or so, I’ll need to find a job that pays more, and it will probably be something simple like working in a coffee shop or restaurant. Film and TV jobs just don’t exist in Tucson, so I have to get out of here soon. In a year I’ll either move away for graduate school or to Los Angeles to pursue a career in production.
What’s unfortunate about the current economic climate is that, although I have a degree and a variety of job experience, I know I’m probably going to have to settle for something that I’m completely overqualified for. After four years of struggling to afford school, here I am with debt and not a lot to show for it. It’s quite disheartening, but I will persevere.
My new way of thought is this: I don’t want to just get by in life being mediocre. I have dreams, and I will fulfill them. I want to study, create, and travel — filling my life with a variety of wonderful experiences.
It’s cliché, but we only have one life, and I plan on making the most of it. If that means struggling for a few years in my twenties, I’m okay with that. If you’re twenty-something, now is the time to be making mistakes, learning, experimenting, exploring, and pursuing your interests. There’s no rush to grow old.
And if you’re determined, you will one day find success — I can promise you that.