My final semester of classes begins tomorrow at 10 a.m. I'm taking five classes this semester, the most at one time since I returned to school with a single class at Metro in the summer of 2005. Graduation is May 9 (with a party to follow; details will be forthcoming - all are invited).
I've been trying to figure out how I feel about my upcoming graduation. It's been a long, strange, twisty little road from that first year of college, way back in '97/'98 at Youngstown State, to now. For long time, during the intervening years, I thought I might never seriously go back to school, while at the same time I had no idea what I was actually doing with my life. Then I moved to SoCal, had an epiphany of sorts (in truth, I simply had no job, no money and was scared out of my mind), and here I am, nearly three years later.
For a brief period of a few days, maybe a week, I was pretty terrified at the thought of actually graduating. What the hell do I know about the real world, y'know? Enough to realize I wasn't exactly ready for it a few years ago, I guess. Yet the question remains, am I any more ready for it now? In some ways, the answer is probably yes. Regardless of what some may believe about a college degree, the number of doors that are opened for those who have one are still greater than for those without. I keep thinking about what my cousin said to me last summer, while I was interning in Los Angeles. She said that she won't even interview someone for a position at her company unless they have a college degree. Of course, I can only assume that that's also true for the majority of production companies in L.A., instead of my cousin being an exception to the rule.
And even if she is the exception, I came back to school with the goal of finally graduating. I was ready for it, after all this time. Once my first class began at Metro, I knew I wasn't going to stop until I had that degree. If for no one else, than for me. And now I'm thisclose to getting it. And then ... I don't know what.
I'm flying out to San Francisco in February, to visit Rose and Johnny, who are graciously allowing me to crash at their place, and to attend this year's WonderCon, the first big comic book convention in the country. I'll visit with some friends, hopefully run into the BOOM! crew, whomever they decide will be manning the booth, and try to speak with as many editors and publishers as I can find.
The reality is, after these years back in school, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Though I do know what I want to do: I want to work as an editor at a comic book company, or a magazine, or a newspaper. I would love to work at a production company in Los Angeles. (Of course, I can't imagine a great many of them hiring right now, what with the ongoing WGA strike, but the strike will have to end sooner or later, right?) I want to work in a creative field, with like-minded, creative people. I want to help tell stories, all kinds of stories, any kind of stories. It's what I've wanted to do since elementary school.
Maybe I'll have an opportunity to go back to BOOM!. Maybe my cousin would be able to put me in touch with people she knows in the industry. Maybe I'll meet someone at WonderCon and that will lead to a job, if maybe not a career. I have no idea what's going to happen. After May 9, it's all up in the air.
The only things I'm sure of are, a) I'm going to graduate from college in a little less than four months, and b) I'm not scared anymore.