That’s a great idea, says our elder – but finish your college degree first.
Hello, I am 18 and a freshman at college fall of 2020. It has always been my dream to go to college and get away from my hometown, but ever since I have been here, I do not think that it is the right fit for me. It is not that I miss home or am homesick, it’s that I want to make wedding videos but there is not a degree for that. I thought maybe since I make videos of my travels I would want to make movies but after my first semester of being a film major, I now realize that it is not what I want to do. So now I am contemplating if I even want to be in college or if I should drop out and work towards my goal and make wedding videos. If I did drop out I would save money but also I am scared of taking that risk. What if I drop out and it was a mistake? I am very confused and need help to decide what I want to do because I don’t want to waste my time if being in college is not worth it. I know I shouldn’t worry because I am so young but also I feel lost and confused and need a little direction and advice. Thank you!
Thinking about these choices is challenging under the best of times, and this year with everything that is going on must make it even scarier.
Here are my thoughts. No matter what you decide to do, more doors will be open in your future if you have a degree. You may want to make wedding videos now, but in ten years, who knows? And the technology might change so that no one even wants wedding videos anymore. I only say that to prepare you for an evolving industry.
My advice is to try to do both. What if you went to college part-time, or community college, and worked part-time as a wedding videographer? That way you leave both options open as you gain college credits and work experience. Another thought is to continue film school to become a credentialed videographer. With that experience and professional network under your belt, you will know more people to refer work to you, and a deeper pool of projects to show prospective clients. You might even find that you want to branch out beyond weddings (to special events, corporate work, maybe even documentaries, who knows?).
You are 18. Your ‘job’ right now is to build the strongest foundation under you to launch from. I suggest this includes academic credentials, and to continue getting work experience as you can. Remember, you have 40-50 years of work in your future. You want a strong academic foundation now to open doors in your future. College is also a great time to meet new people, be exposed to new ideas, and find out more about yourself. You might even find a whole other field of interest to replace or combine with (wedding) videography (maybe about saving the planet, who knows?).
Talk with an academic advisor and career advisor at school. Let them know how you are feeling, what you are thinking, and ask their advice about potential fields of study. Film study may or may not be that path (I don’t know enough about it to advise you on that), but they might.
Hang in there, invest in your academic career now, and pursue wedding videos as a side gig until you have the foundation to work at your next career full-time. I do not recommend abandoning college completely at this time. The future is evolving even now. Best to prepared for it. I believe a college degree is almost always worth it.
Keep breathing, be patient, work hard and believe in your future while preparing for it now. You’ll be fine.