A few weeks ago, I found myself back in a classroom listening to teacher introduce the subject of my master’s degree. This is how I got there…
1. Better Now Than Later
My earliest impression of graduate school comes from the television sitcom “Home Improvement”. Jill spends the better part of a season complaining about going back to school and finishing her thesis. Up until a couple years ago, these scenes are probably part of the reason why I all but completely ruled out the notion of ever pursuing an advanced degree.
Obviously, it was a t.v. show and things were dramatized for the camera. But it would be hard to go to school with three kids and a spouse that’s constantly blowing up kitchen appliances. So I’m gonna do it now before I have a house full of kids (goat or human).
2. My Art Degree Doesn’t Serve Me
I was never diluted enough to believe that getting an art degree was the best decision to make me a hireable individual. Don’t get me wrong, my art degree has provided me with baller critical thinking skills, and I’m really good at taking criticism, especially when people tell me I overestimate my critical thinking skills. But as important as I think art is, I just don’t fit into that mold. It was just a degree I knew I could do when I didn’t know what else was out there.
3. I Can’t Be a Photographer Forever
Last year at a bridal fair, I saw a male middle-aged photographer trying to drum up clients just like I was. My heart sank as I pictured myself in his shoes. I have worked for the past ten years to turn photography into my career. It’s an occupation that suits me well, and I enjoy it immensely. From across the room, that man’s career felt stagnant. I have a desire to grow and become more than I am, and in my current field, I feel the path of growth eventually will lead me to a place filled with status seeking and pretention.
It’s a weird feeling, recognizing the career you’ve worked towards since high school is no longer good enough. But it’s a realization that I’m glad I had in my twenties because I still have plenty of time to find my way. Photography will always be a component of my life and what I do. I hope my candor doesn’t discourage you from hiring me. I care about what I do, I just don’t think I’ll be doing it forever. I could also really use your help paying for tuition.
4. I Want To Be Smarter
We usually view education as a requirement for living a comfortable life or more boldly, as a way to make more money. Sometimes I wish I was motivated by wealth, but I’m not. So I will have to let the desire to understand the society I occupy motivate my actions. It may be looked down upon but sometimes learning for learning’s sake isn’t the worst reason to go back to school.
5. I Don’t Know What Else To Do
I have more free time than I feel like a 25-year-old should. Not gonna lie, it’s nice but I believe I will be more satisfied with life if I am busier. When I was a human kid and I told my mom that I was bored, she would tell me to find something to do. So after some thought and time, school is what I have found to do.
6. I Can Quit Whenever I Want
(a phrase that usually isn’t a good sign)
“Well you don’t want to be a quitter do you?” a common statement lobbed at humans who are in their formative years. In the process of teaching kids to not give up on things when they get difficult, we simultaneously discourage them from discontinuing activities that no longer serve them.
I do not regret quitting football in the 7th grade. I do regret bursting into tears when I did it. While making excuses to the coach about needing more time to split wood before the winter came. I should have simply said, “I don’t like this, it’s not serving me, I’m done.” Which is what I might say whilst in the pursuit of my master’s degree.