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Education and Careers Work of any kind can get stressful at times. Ask in this forum if you need help with coursework, applications, and more.

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Terraventa Offline
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17 Year Old Teen Needing Some Insight on Life - November 25th 2016, 10:18 PM

Hello netizens of the internet! Iím in a kind of desperate and stressful situation at the moment, so Iíve turned to you guys for help. The following writing will contain a mix of personal and external issues, so any wisdom and advice will be greatly appreciated.

Iím a 17-year-old guy as a senior in high school currently. Of course, I should be stressed out like any other senior, but mines is a different kind of stress. You see, as all of my friends are applying to colleges near and far, I havenít applied to any. The reason for this is because I aspire to become artist or some sort of profession related to that field. I just donít see the need for a piece of paper verifying that I went to an institution for X amount of years. I used to be a stellar student up until my freshmen year in high school, from there on my emotional state deteriorated and my grades slumped and now my grades are pretty mediocre (3.3 GPA). And I donít mean to brag, but on my own, I am an excellent artist. I get many compliments from my family and peers about my art, and my art teachers are often amazed from what I can do. I donít have a particular style as of now since Iím trying to discover that by looking at otherís work and imitating it in a sort of way. Iím hoping I could become a video game designer, but even then I still wouldnít want to go to college. I absolutely HATE sitting in classrooms listening to lectures I donít care about when I could be at home practicing drawing and painting.

Now, I understand that being an artist may not be the highest paying field, but itís what I love to do. What Iím scared of is that if Iíll even be noticed at all, and if Iíll even survive off what I make in the future. Iíd really like a nice car, house, and just about anything else the common person would like. Sometimes I wish I could have just f*cking studied in high school to have a 4.0 GPA, so that I could have a solid future with a high paying job in some medical field. I donít even have any school involvement or any extracurricular activities, Iím just known as ďthat kid who can draw.Ē Sometimes I think really hard about what Iíve could have become but now I guess itís too late now knowing that application deadlines are due in a month. Right now, Iím just drawing by myself, with no connections to people whatsoever, just purely building off from my own criticism and motivation. Iím thinking of starting off in a well-paying starting job, such as some hotel employee, and working my way up the ladder. Now I donít know how that really works, as my 17-year-old secluded mind in my parentís house barely knows about the outside, adult world. Iíve also thought about investing but I donít know how that works either. Lol.

And so along with this stress, of whether or not Iíll succeed, I have had emotional and mental problems for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I was a bubbly and energetic and happy boy. I didnít think I would ever change, but now Iím a depressed, empty person. Ever since I started high school I felt like a void was created in my life. My freshman and sophomore year were spent at an elite art school far away from my house which had an hour of commute on train, and ever since then, Iíve felt like my life has been meaningless. I kept comparing myself to all these kids in this highly competitive environment, developed an inferiority complex, and now I have like a sort of distorted view of reality. I transferred to a regular school my junior year, which I could say it has made me feel a bit better, and Iíve been here ever since. Iíve developed an anxiety towards social situations, and I am a pretty awkward person, which Is an aspect I hate about myself, but I guess many artists are like that. I (think?) I have depression, I am just really sick of living in this small secluded Hispanic city, where people are close-minded, old, and not willing to do anything fun. Of course, I have friends who are like me, who are dying to move out and go to more lively, engaging, youthful places, but I donít really know if they have a plan for that themselves. I think Iíd like to share a rent with friends so that Iím free to do whatever I want to do. And I have only a good few friends whom Iím close to, but theyíre going to college and Iím not, so Iím terrified that Iíll lose my only hope and go insane after high school. My mom is pretty supportive of me, but she really wants me to go to college, and I havenít yet broke to her the news that I donít feel like going. She has taken me to therapists numerous times, and now Iím thinking of telling her to take me to one again. And, to top it all off, Iím gay, which I imagine will just make my life 10x as hard. I really want a relationship so that I could just be comfortable and at peace with someone by my side, so that I have someone to vent to. I donít think my parents will hate me once I come out, I just feel like theyíll be disappointed and thatís just as scary to me.

So, thatís why Iím asking you guys, thatís why Iím seeking advice from
people who are older than me and have started their lives. I cried a lot typing this, seeing how much of a little accomplished person I am, and how Iíve just wasted my life when I could have been doing better things. I just want to know whether Iím doing the right thing or not, whether I have the right mindset or not for my future, so I can feel a bit of peace at the moment. I just want to be happy. Thank you so much for reading.
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Always * Offline
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Re: 17 Year Old Teen Needing Some Insight on Life - November 26th 2016, 12:35 AM

You want a university degree. I don't mean to burst your bible but it's prettt much non optional especially for fields that are hard to break into such as video game design and art.

University isn't just a piece of paper. It also shows you took the time to learn and have developed skills through that. Even if you can do stuff on your own, you'd be surprised how indepth post secondary goes in terms of widening your knowledge and skills. It can teach you things at a pace and st a depth and give you access to stuff you never would have had access to otherwise.

One thing you could do, for example, is go to a school with a computer science programs and fine arts program and double major if you want to do video game design. The chances of your being able to do video game design without knowing how to do the programming is basically nonexistent because there are thousands and thousands of people who can do the exact same thing and actually have a solid foundation (think along the lines of Java, HTML, python, ruby) through their education. And with jobs, it's almost always a basic requirement to have a degree in this or that. You find more flexibility by simply having the wrong degree and way less flexibility when you have no degree.

Plus your earning potential is way lower without a university degree, at least in most fields like video game design,because you'll discover a ceiling where you can't get promoted higher.

Plus the chances of someone giving you a job and training you from scratch is next to nothing, so without university you'll end up working a ton of menial jobs while you try to find ways to teach yourself and teaching yourself the advanced skills expected can become pretty costly. Without enrolling in a university, your chances of securing funding (eg bursaries) to do this with dramatically decrease.

So I know that university can seem like hell but I'd definitely consider going any how. You'll thank yourself later.

Plus I have a BA and have a finance job (trust me, my BA is social science / history related and not at all finances) and it was definitely a stroke of luck that they overlooked my distinct lack of finance education BUT the fact that I had taken a few relevant courses, which led to some relevant education, basically allowed me to have JUST enough for this job - so you could be like me and find yourself in a job that you never expected through your degrees pathways.

Feel free to PM me if you ever need to chat or have questions

Last edited by Always *; November 27th 2016 at 12:58 PM.
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
Alto. Offline
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Re: 17 Year Old Teen Needing Some Insight on Life - November 26th 2016, 03:41 PM

Hey there!

I agree with Always* that going to college is pretty much a necessity today, an expensive necessity but a necessity nonetheless.

BUT you don't have to go to college straight away. I graduated high school in 2015 and took a gap year before starting higher education. It was the best decision I could have made for myself because my year out of the classroom taught me more than my twelve years in a classroom. When I announced my gap year, while my immediate family was supportive, many teachers, extended relatives, and friends were not. It's not a common, or encouraged, thing to do anymore because it's attached with the stereotype that you're quitting on education. And for some, it is. But for most people I know who took a gap year, it's taking a moment to breathe and learn about yourself.

I still encourage you to apply for colleges, I understand it's overwhelming but it's always good to know your options. Maybe look into a community college or a vocational college, or even an online university. College is important, but it doesn't have to be the traditional 4 year degree.

Whatever you decide on doing, try to keep an open mind to other options and definitely talk it through with family and friends. After my gap year, I was intending on attending the local community college then transferring to a big state school, but talking it through with my family helped me end up at my small, liberal arts school (which I LOVE!). Senior year is a stressful time, but try to enjoy it too. It's not too late to pick up your GPA if you're serious about it, and colleges look at more than just your academic record (though they do pay a lot of attention to it). Look for options, I can guarantee that there are many you haven't come across yet.

Good luck!

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you're not too far
lay down your hurt, lay down your heart
come as you are.

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