Thanks for the replies, guys. They have all been taken into thought with great weight. So, 2 weeks ago, I found myself in a CC’s orientation, while I felt great for doing something I saw that many people my age seem to know exactly what they want, how to go about it from CC, everything. While the orientation did a great job pretty much explaining everything to me, that I have ever had questions about. One thing was missing, the path to get where I wanted. (I sense I’m about to go on a rambling session so I’m going to cut it short) I thought it was set that I was going to to this community college (mostly because it’s what my parents wanted me to do.) and learn what I can on the side. Perhaps while working, and save up the funds to attend animation mentor or a similar school in the future.
Naturally, I like to keep my mother (she’s my “parents”) on the same page as me, so she isn’t under the impression I’m just wondering about in life, waiting to be told what to do, and how to do it, and just to hear her thoughts. I again, brought up online schools, I told her of the plan to attend the community college
(at this point I was enrolled in some classes, ready to go in the fall, classes for Liberal Art degree, which I found out the evening after enrolling in classes, that that certain degree is pretty much a joke >.>, but at this point my goal was to get a broader education, just go down the path, and hope I don’t screw things up.),
and that I would be more than willing to work during school, to attend a school where I can learn what I want to.
To my surprise, she seem to be a totally different person towards the subject than last time I brought it up. I don’t know what changed, perhaps she saw me actually reading a book XD (The Animator’s Survival Kit) outloud, writing notes, drawing sketches, and occassionally I would devote 30 minutes a day to take what I’ve read so far that I found to be vital, and wrote it down word for word (to improve my crappy penmenshit, and to try to sew it into my brain), and just doing. (Had a Digital Tutor’s subscription, where I was just abit of everything.), perhaps she saw me do this, when I wasn’t aware, or heard from my brothers. I don’t know.
Anyways, she seem to see that I really wanted to go through with this. She asked me to tell her about the school(s) I was looking into. I pulled up Animation Mentor’s website, I told her about everything I gathered, showed the student showreel, in which (I think this was the first time I actually showed her what it is that I was fascinated with) she asked if I was going to be the one ‘drawing’ these characters. I told her that these were pretty much models/characters inside a software, and that what I was going to be learning is to give them life, and giving them movement. She seemed to notice how confidently I spoke about this, as if I were already an expert. And I, jokily to tease her/convince her of my determination, said, oneday she’s going to watch a popular movie, and I would’ve contribute to it, and she would be able to boast to friends and family that her son ‘made that movie’.
(at this point I realized this got extremely lengthy, and fast >.> but I’ll keep going for the sake of there ever being someone in this situation, who would maybe benefit in someway.)
For, what may possibly be the first time, she looked at me seriously, she smiled, and pretty much told me she believe it would be so, and patted me on the back. Y’kno, I don’t really remember ever being told that. I was always told my everyone to just do something, and get it done. This was a huge motivator. I instantly felt 5 times more motivated and determine to make this happen. She told me, never to let anyone tell me how to go about my life, not if it’s not what I want. Going to my community college for a degree that would get me nowhere, and not make me truely happy, and just essentially settling and not speaking up for myself, was a waste of time. She would much rather see me working towards where I want to be. So it was settled, she was willing to support me, and pay for the cost, aslong as I promised to put 330% into it (ofcourse, I’ll probably take breaks when I feel I’m getting towards ‘burnt out’) and that my ‘job’ was to take my studies more seriously than ever, and make my goals happen. I never felt so alive, and determined, I was feeling great. Untill…
Negative Nancy, or my step-father walked into the room, asked what was up. My mother informed him that I will not be attending college afterall, as it didn’t offer what I wanted to do. He instantly shut down. If my mother weren’t there, he would’ve just shut me down instantly and completely. He stood there in silence as we continued looking at the information. Shortly he left, so once my and mother came to the agreement, I thanked her for sticking by me and letting me have the opportunity to have the time to contribute 100% of studying without worrying about money, and other financial responsibility.
I went upstairs to my room, all dandy and skipping. It didn’t take long for my step-father to follow, and basically just shove his… I don’t even know what to call it. It’s certainly not advice, or thoughts. He offered nothing but discouragement, asking me things I cannot hope to get him to comprehend without more senseless questions to follow. “Animation? Wutis that for? You want to make video games?” (He’s in the stubborn mindset that, given my past that involved quite abit of playing video games, and whatnot that I thought “Hey, I play video games. They make video games. DATS PERFECT” and told me, because it was an online school, that I was looking and wanting to waste my time. I couldn’t hope to form an arguement to get it through his head, that while it is online, and it isn’t necessarily what I would prefer. For the very same fact that it’s online, it’s what makes it successful and what makes it work. The ‘instructors’ or Mentors were not just teachers, they may currently have jobs, and may also be in different locations. I just sat there, waiting for him to go away. He continued to let it be known that he thought my decision was stupid, and just plainly the wrong decision. And that if I wanted to get anywhere I needed to go to college. (ofcourse, he wasn’t going to help contribute a dime towards helping me pay anything.)
I’ll take this chance to say, while I do realize that college is just about a once-in-a-lifetime sort of chance (not exactly, but you know what I mean) and that I may potentially miss out on great experiences, and friends. College isn’t the only places to meet new people, make friends and memories.
And frankly, the cost of college (not assuming a well-known/prestigious ‘animation/cg’ school) is abit daunting. I already feel bad about never having had a job at (now almost, age 18) nevermind the thought of having my mother support me for another 4 years, as she’s worked her behind off all my life. As long as I remember. I wouldn’t want to put her under that pressure while I’m out doing something I isn’t my dream, or even comfortably sure of. and only to go through those 4 years, and struggle to really do anything.
While I may not be getting the ‘broader’, general higher education, there have been people with far less, who have accomplish much more. (generally speaking) who am I not to do the same?
I believe strongly in ‘make the most of what you got’ and ‘you get what you put into it.’
So, to conclude. I did feel dishearten at my step-father’s words. I thought I normally shrug these things off. But this was different for some reason. Perhaps because this was something I actually cared about, and believed in. I began to doubt myself. ‘Maybe I am foolish, and just looking to waste my time and put off the reality of life longer.’ ‘What if I realize somewhere in the future that, this isn’t what I really want?’, ‘I could get distracted and demotivated and just…accomplish nothing.’
It took awhile, but I realized a few things later that night, while laying in bed. 1.It’s my STEP-FATHER, he’s always been like that. I’ve had just about all my life to learn to shrug off his useless thoughts off 2.There’s always going to be people that question your plans, and your abilities. 3.There’s also people who will question your plans (or in this quite, straightout say it’s a stupid idea), and your abilities because they have absolutely no idea what it is, you really plan to do. 4.and there will always be people who believe in your plans, and your ability to follow through, and execute. 5.Ultimately, it comes down to the person, he/she is the only limit to how far they can go.
So. (Jesus, why do I go on and on so much. I apologize, I really do :P) that night, after realizing these things, I went ahead and applied to Animation Mentor, just about kept my eye on my inbox, awaiting the test they told me to expect, took and finished it, 20 minutes after receiving the link, and am now waiting for word. I am both nervous and excited. Nervous as in, I wonder if in 5-10 years from now if this will be a major event that has effected my life greatly, and if for better or worse. Excited because of the chance to do something I have never really felt nearly as motivated, determined, and fascinated with.
(Now I’m debating if I should even post this >.<, oh well. If I were me, and I read of someone who was in a similar situation as me, and had this long of a read, I probably would’ve felt more at ease and benefited from it. So for the sake for the person who may or may not ever exist :p)
P.S, if you or anyone you know is/ or have attended AM recently, if I could get in touch for a few questions, that would be great. I have ~2 months till the term starts (assuming I’m accepted, and all goes well) and I want to prepare the best I can to make going into the program and smoothly as possible.(maya knowledge-wise, mostly) I have some experience with software like Maya and Max, from the time I had with digital tutor’s but I would still say I essentially know nothing.