It’s 3 AM during finals week. You’re in college. The Red Bull is wearing off, but you still have four more finals to take, two of which are tomorrow. The sweat rolls off your forehead, and onto your keyboard. “I’m never going to finish, I’m going to fail”, you tell yourself.
It’s funny how so many people automatically assume this situation is about students who are studying in fields like nursing, prelaw, and accounting. Surprise, surprise — this happens to students who study the arts, too! Believe it: our majors are as real as both of our college experiences. So, stop asking us the following stereotypical questions and start spreading the answers:
1. Are you a hipster?
Do you actually know what a hipster is? You think you’ve nailed us when we do this crazy thing called wearing high-waisted pants and largely framed glasses. Guess again, future doctors and lawyers of our nation, because the term ‘hipster’ originated in the 1940s for people who were jazz experts and enthusiasts.
2. Why is all of your work so depressing?
The real question is why is all of YOUR work so depressing? I would rather put One Direction erotic fan fiction on my tombstone then lead a life where I am not happy with my career path. If you’re a doctor who loves science, more power to ya. If you have a passion for educating our youth, please, go out into the world and become a teacher. But don’t hate on us for writing the dramatic television shows you look forward to watching after you come home from work. We don’t need your pity and fake support. We entertain either way.
3. Is everyone at your school gay?
No, everyone at my school is talented.
4. But are they weird?
Isn’t it weird that American teenagers have been brainwashed to believe that small spaces the reek of sweat, testosterone, and drunk girls are the only definition of fun? Isn’t it odd that when you’re the only sober person in that room, it’s no longer the best night you’ve ever had? We still go out, get drunk, and have a good time. Our party themes and conversations are just more creative. Don’t hate us because you want to date us.
5. Are your classes hard?
You have to make your mind work a certain way, and so do we. There are standards in every class you take. If you want to reach perfection, no matter what field, you’re going to have to work your ass off. You’re not working to pay for movie tickets to see a flawed plotline and weak special effects, are you? We don’t ship off to some foreign land when we go to college- some of are classes are moderate, while others are really effin’ hard. I’m going to take a wild guess, and say that’s something you run into in any major.
6. Does everyone smoke weed at your school?
Does everyone at your school drink? Do minors all across the nation engage in substance abuse?
7. Is everyone there, like, super dramatic?
Sure, there are some people that overreact to situations…everywhere you go in life…
8. But what are you going to do after college?
Wander the streets and embrace the true starving artists we were born to be? I don’t know! Ask more than half of the college students in America, we’re all worried that we’re not going to get a job once we graduate. It’s no different for art students.
9. Do you have a backup plan?
Yeah. I’ll get the same job with an advertising agency as the guy who just spent four years earning a business degree. We’re post-modernists, people, it’s really not as important to have an expensive piece of paper, as to have the natural instinct and ability to effectively market. I’ll also probably keep doing what I love on the side until it gets me where I want to be.
10. Why not get a business degree and then do your art on the side?
Why pretend to please you when I can lead my own life, and if you really love me, you’d stop talking. Unless you have an entertaining childhood memory to share that will somehow help me with brainstorming my next assignment.
11. Are you going to move to LA?
We go wherever our casting call is at, whether it’s on the East Coast or West Coast. We travel to whichever production company hires us, to whichever sound design team needs our expertise, to whatever shooting location the script calls for, to whatever business meeting we need to make our pitch at. Los Angeles is poppin’, but we aren’t afraid to be nomads.
12. What are you going to do if you never ‘make it’?
Never regret that I didn’t try.