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Topic: If I Don't Succeed By 18 I Don't Know What I Will Do...I Want To Be A Successful Artist, I Fear Being Old, And School Is Bringing Me Down,

2 posts, 0 answered
  1. GirlWithBigDreams
    GirlWithBigDreams avatar
    1 posts
    18 May 2020

    Hello everyone,

    I'm currently a student at a school for performing arts at the moment and I'm currently COMPLETELY behind in my school work because a SAC threw me off and now I'm behind in absolutely everything (with this online teaching style, whatever lack of focus and motivation I had, is COMPLETELY gone out the window now. I'm doing both regular VCE Academic, plus intensive art at the same time in school (very long school days). I'm passionate about the art part and do that, but academically I am completely burnt out. With this whole system, it isn't working for me and I feel like I can't focus. More and more work keeps piling in. I CANNOT.

    I used to be a high achieving academic student, but once I realised that performing arts and film is ultimately my passion, I stopped prioritising/striving for education as much as I used to, and do not intend to university. My parent is very against that despite supporting me in everything I do. "You'll never amount to anything without education, you'll work at maccas/as a cleaner then..", but if I KNOW what my passion is, and that I plan to train and learn extensively for my talent, I don't consider that unsuccessful!

    I've talked to the school counsellor, but I feel like encouraging me to do it isn't helping me. I want to talk to a career counsellor, but from what I've briefly talked about they say "you might want to later on", but I DON'T! As an aspiring artist, it hurts when you're told there's the 1% of artists, and then the rest 99%. I don't want to mediocre, or have a plan B. As corny as it sounds, I want to be great! Why can't I be the 1%?

    I don't want to do this style of education where a grade or number determines your worth, or a degree determines your status. It isn't the same for art, its not like medicine where you NEED it in order to properly function. I feel like going to university is the "SAFE OPTION", but I don't want to waste away my young years 18-22... I already feel old (I'm 17), if I go to university and don't start my career, then I'll REALLY be old! Since I have to finish school, I feel like I won't be able achieve success because I'm stuck and immensely unfulfilled.

    Does anyone else feel this way? What can I do, who can I talk to? I know what I want to do with my future, but the academic system is not for my pathway and it's destroying my sense of purpose/belief in myself and my future. I have this thought that if I don't succeed by 18, I won't know what to do with myself anymore.

  2. orangejuicewithpulp
    orangejuicewithpulp avatar
    6 posts
    18 May 2020 in reply to GirlWithBigDreams

    Dude I was in exactly the same boat as you 2 years ago. I went to one of those 'academic' high schools where all anybody could talk about was our upcoming exams and assignments. In year 11 I decided that I wanted to pursue a career directing film and I immediately struck off all my academic subjects. I ended up flunking Maths methods, specialist and physics. I only put effort into my media-related subjects which were MPA, English and Photography. I can relate to what you're saying very well, if you choose to do something then you either do it or you don't, there's no trying to do it. I can easily watch up to 5 feature-length films in one day because it interests me and it will help me with my career goals (right now I'm at 155 films for the current year), probably why my ATAR ended up being at 80, barely allowing me to scrape into film school.

    I know there's a lot of debate between going to film school and starting out on your own and there's a reason why there's debate. No one way is right. People from both ends of the spectrum have made it big. However, I will elaborate with my own personal experience, being a second-year film student.

    I was very on the fence about going to university at the end of year 12. It didn't seem very useful to me because at the end of it, the degree doesn't really do much for you (in the case of film) and you can pretty much teach yourself anything you want by going on youtube for a few hours. I guess I only ended up going to uni because everyone else I knew was going to uni, albeit studying engineering or physics, and I was sort of peer-pressured into it.

    However, I still don't regret that decision because it was a learning experience. Now I can reflect on the fact I let myself get talked into this big life decision and I now know how I feel about it. At the end of the day, art is about being about to reflect on who you are and how you got here. Following a pre-determined path, uni or not, is like following a recipe in a cookbook exactly to the letter. Everyone who uses this recipe will end up cooking exactly the same thing with no variation or uniqueness.