I used to teach After Effects at Columbia College. It was a wonderful, fulfilling job. During my time there I made several video tutorials for my students and put them up on Youtube. I’ve kind of forgotten about them, but every once in awhile I’ll get an email saying that someone subscribed to my Youtube channel. And every time someone does, I think to myself, Am I in the wrong business? Should I be making my living doing AE tutorials? Because people seem to like them okay.
Jef has two nieces that will soon be going to college, and I worry that they’ll fall into the same trap that I did. I thought that I had to go to a good university right out of high school, pick a major, and figure out life later. I thought that getting a degree was important. And it is, but I wish I realized then that getting a degree in a subject that I didn’t truly love was going to set me up for a lifetime of wondering what I do truly love.
My interests have always been divided. As a child I grew up being “well rounded” and as an adult that turned into being a “jack of all trades, master of none”. My job resume is pretty diverse. I came to Los Angeles for school (UCLA), and while in school I dabbled in dancing professionally (jazz, hip hop, tap. NOT exotic as people in LA seem to assume) and acting. I was an SAT tutor right out of college. Then I was a special ed teacher. Then I was a graphic designer, which turned into animation and motion graphics direction and design. Now I run an online pet supply store, and I do freelance design and motion graphics.
I think it’s finally time to embrace my jack of all trades nature. I don’t see my future self having one 40 hr/week job, but instead having several part-time jobs, one in each of my varying interests. And I think it’s a wonderful lifestyle choice. I get to be my own boss, manage my own time, and work from home. What’s not to love?
I hope that more and more kids fresh out of high school will take the time to figure out what they really want in their lives before blindly going to college and picking a major just because it sounds mildly interesting. I think it’s pretty cruel that society has set up a system where people feel forced to choose an area of study before understanding where that path will lead them. So, boys and girls, don’t do what I did. Figure out what your natural talents and interests are first. Then to go college and study them. Defy normal. It makes more sense.