College is full of memories and challenges. It is a time to get to know yourself and experience life on your own. It’s where you would expect to be prepared to be equipped for the real world, but is a degree worth chasing after?
Degrees should not define who you are nor how successful you can be. There seems to be an attachment as black professionals, that we need a degree to prove who we already are; resourceful, smart and talented.
College degrees are becoming old news. How many people do you know that actually graduated from college and ended up with the career they wanted or are working within their field? Chances are, there are not that many and there are several people that do not own a degree who are successful entrepreneurs.
What I learned as a film major is that education is important, not the degree.
Though there are some careers where a degree is necessary, especially those that require a license, many are not. Several resources were available right at my fingertips, in which I was fortunate enough to have access to. Film is not a hard career to get into, however, like most, it is competitive.
So what has college really been like for me?
It was a waste of pages.
I took a big leap into debt rather than in faith, by not doing my research to see who could help. I went through unnecessary courses, trauma, and hoops just to be given a piece of paper that never really mattered. What I needed, was unknowingly being offered by industry working professionals in order to be taken seriously as a writer. I’ve spent four long years in college, wasting time and money, not understanding that I could be working for myself and learning what I needed to know for myself and for others.
There are a lot of the same intensive courses that are offered by real working professionals and workshops that are readily available.
By being adamant about learning about film on my own time and set my own rules, I found out that the only things that I needed to learn were very basic.
Whether you decide to go to college for the experience, for lasting connections, career options or simply because you feel it is the right thing to do, figure out if it is right for you and if you can obtain the level of success you desire on your own.