It has been almost 5 years since I graduated. That is at least I think it was 5 years ago I cant quite figure out the dates but it has gone fast. I wrote a little more on film schools and how to find a good place to study film here.
Technically I did not go to film school but a university with a film production course. I graduated with a BA in Film and TV production. I can now say with confidence that my higher education has been of no use to me with finding work. I wish I had chosen a better course.
However at the time when I was applying to university at age 18, I did not know any better and can not regret a decision that was the best decision I could have made at the time with the knowledge I had. If you are reading this and thinking maybe I wont go to university to study film, all I can say is that everyone’s experience and take away is different and if you do wish to go make sure you pick the best course you can.
I was a very young 21 year old when I graduated, a lot of time has passed and a lot has happened. Here are some things I wish I had known when I graduated.
The Money gap
I feel that the post university life you hear about online mostly comes from middle class students 'gap years and living with back with their parents rent free'.
When I graduated I quickly moved in with my boyfriend and I had to make money straight away. I did not save up enough to properly meet the transition stage between student and worker.
It took me only two months to get my first job but more money was needed. A deposit for rent, clothing for work and money to last until your first paycheck.
If I had known now I would have of saved more money. but its hard to say that to a student who is only focusing on getting through education.
A Change of Plans
Someone from my audience (you know who you are) called me a failure this week because my film plans have changed widely and I have not had any major success in my career.
I am nearly 27 years old and most 20 – 50 year old filmmakers have not had any major success. Film is a long game. I thought film work was for me when I graduated, I didn’t consider my first career plan to not work out I never considered a plan B.
My life has in many ways stayed the same. I am with the same bf, we live in the same house I rented when I left university but my career has been twisting and turning around. I doubt you will be able to avoid those twists and turns in such a creative industry like film. It is unlikely that your first plan will work out as you expect it to. When things change don't panic.
Being called Crazy
I was being questioned at age 19, on why I wasn’t married with kids. So if that is anything to go by some people out there consider an unmarried 27 years old with no safe day job to be unfathomable.
I have not gone down the typical housewife route because I would truly hate that life, I am very ambtious and a risk taker so in past 5 years, I have had roughly 18 months of self employment, 6 months of unemployment, 3 years of employed in 3 different types of day jobs, and now I am back to self employed once again.
I have been all over the place but it was good to try out different things and see how I felt with work. It turns out I hate having a day job I dislike working with people and strongly desire to be my own boss.
Rant aside, if you have a dream, it is unlikely that you will get the support you would get if you were toeing the line, it is to be expected that this road will be a little tricky to navigate.
This is something that all 20 somethings do, we set ourselves goals to reach by certain age points - can you relate. It is likely I will live a long life so why do I feel the need to meet so many personal targets in my twenties.
It is likely that it will take a handful of years to feel truely comfortable within your career - and make your creative job stable. It is unlikely that I will be a successful auteur in my twenties, or own a house.
It is likely that life's success points will be spread out from now to age eighty. My career highlights will be when I am middle aged or even in my sixties. So why did I place so much pressure on myself when I graduated. Que sera sera.