We have all been there: When the time comes to make desitions and choose a course of studies, the number of options and the high expectations of the people around us can turn the whole situation into a stressful business.
Nowadays it is not uncommon for young people to have aspirations related to art. Even though not everyone has the talent and the perseverance to make a professional career in this field, people use to relate it with fame, money, success and sometimes even with easiness. But is a course of studies in art something worthy or it is just a waste of time?
Considering all the posibilities: The first step
To begin with, when you choose what you want to study there is a matter that you cannot stop taking into consideration: Money. In my country, most of the courses of studies can be accessed for free (though there are exceptions) but I am aware that it is not the case in all the rest of the world. Can you afford a private university if necessary? For some people, it is not a problem, but they should also think about if they will be able to get a job in their field. I find that one of the biggest problems that young people have nowadays is the inability to think with seriousness and without fear about the future. Living in the present is important, it is true, but not being able to establish a long-term goal, or to reflect on what kind of life do you want for yourself is a big disadvantage.
A question you should ask yourself is: Am I going to be capable of earning a good living? Some people consider that you should follow your dreams to any cost, and that thinking about money kills vocation. But really, would you like to study something you love and then ending up working on any other thing because you are not able to find a job? As cruel as it may be, the truth is that vocation alone is not always enough to pay the bills. It is important to be realistic. So, if the answer to the first question is no, then ask yourself another question: Am I going to be fine with it when the time comes?
Do I have to give up on my dream?
I have been there myself, and still today I have to deal with people that ask me why am I not studying something related to writing, my lifelong passion, instead of focusing in a course of studies in maths and technology. Most of them believe that I turned to that due to family pressures, or just for the sake of having money, though the truth is far from that.
I believe that people who have a real vocation cannot just suppress it. Even if you start a course of studies that has nothing to do with art, it does not necessarily mean that you are giving up on your dream. In my opinion, an artist is a person who not only knows about art but about life. An aspiring artist, more than any other person, needs to be in contact with different things, different people, different places, and to be open to learning from other ways of thinking and living. Inspiration is everywhere, is it not? I think that being able to get out of your comfort zone can make you grow as a person, and of course, as an artist.
Some may say that keeping your responsibilities and working in your passion at the same time is impossible, but I truly believe it can be done. It will take time and effort, that is for sure. But after all, who said that an artist life is easy?
I do not feel like I am giving up on my dream, I feel I am allowing myself the time and space to grow, to discover, to learn, to test my own limits and to develop my talent as much as I can.
My conclusion is the following: The world is not a friendly place for the artists most of the time. The chance of success is one in a million, but what if you are that one? All the jobs and occupations can be combined with art in a way or another, you just have to find a way that works for you. If you are willing to do so, there is only one more thing you need to do in order to achieve your goal: Work hard.
© 2018 Literarycreature
Jeff Lynn from Southeastern US on September 01, 2018:
There is nothing wrong with pursuing the arts. The problem comes in when someone borrows $100,000 to get a degree in papier mache. For example, I have a friend who is an artist. She went to community college for WELDING. This gave her (A) More options to do sculpture, and (B) she can get a job welding immediately as the industry desperately needs welders. Win/Win. If she had a 4-year degree in Art Design and Principles with even $50,000 worth of debt, she wouldn't be able to support herself much less be able to pay off the debt. A person should 1st ensure they can feed themselves and then pursue their art as they are able. Most Actors, for example, went to Los Angeles and waited tables or parked cars for a living during the evenings while they auditioned for their passion during the day. MOST won't be able to make a living acting. But some will be able to "live the dream". Priorities in life.