Getting hit with the backhanded “go back to school” rhetoric right out of college was hard to hear. I had fought my entire life to build up my skillset and resume to the point I’d be impossible to deny when it came to securing a full time position in my area of expertise. It’s not that I didn’t want to. I love learning. Many of the best moments in my life have come from my time in school. On top of the education itself, there are more opportunities to network and get involved. It is expensive though, and as some of us have had to learn the hard way, work experience and college degrees come with no guarantee. No amount of independent initiative, community engagement, paying dues or successes in the industry will definitively lead to a livable full time position.
I have undoubtedly applied to over 1,000 positions since graduation in the spring of 2013 and found nothing but internship, part time, limited term, at will, minimum wage, service and manual labor work. No one has ever once hooked me up with an in anywhere professionally. Many have put forth major effort to keep me in this position. It’s a rock and a hard place type of situation. I have found I can’t escape that I do well at what I put my mind to, which is good, but I also draw this strange animosity from swaths of others for being a unique and honest worker that is great at many things. Quitting is simply not a part of who I am, though.
I figure what I can do is try and impress employers with some more degrees. I wish it were realistic to live that popular daydream others push with the “you should be a…” and “you should start a…” school of thought. Life really works that way for some people, and it seems to be true for most people that have white collar jobs – the way they speak on adventure and any sort of life journey. I’m starting up at Madison College this time, where most people go to college where I’m from, hoping that maybe a technical degree in Web & Digital Media Design will get me to a better place professionally. I know I’ll develop as an artist no matter what. It should help get me closer to a writing position eventually too as many of those jobs posted ask for experience with coding and graphic design now.
I’m excited to go back to school. This time will be different, though. I know I wore myself too thin most of my time through UW and I’m gonna try to concentrate more on my classes themselves during this stretch and make a concerted effort to meet like minded people that aren’t associating with me solely for clout chasing and sucking me dry for ideas. It will be tough to be uninvolved but I don’t think that’s unhealthy. I’m hoping to get a job on campus eventually and maybe join a basketball league or something. This time I have Basement Made too. I plan to leverage my business platform to build out my content and portfolio even more.
I want to give another big thank you to everyone who has been a genuine friend or coworker of mine along the way so far. I sincerely appreciate any kind of real connection I’ve ever had even if it didn’t lead to anything bigger than just a moment. I know the world isn’t against me and I continue to count my blessings on a daily basis. No one on Earth has ever found professional success alone. This 30 and some odd years has been no waste in experience and I have my achievements but I hope for much more in the years to come. Or maybe I’ll just be a college kid for the rest of my life. Either way, I’m on still on the mission to achieve health and happiness and I think some more schooling will edge me in that direction.