College Feels Like A Waste… Of Life.
No seriously though. I believe that school has mostly been a complete waste of time and money. The educational system in this country seems more oriented into getting money than anything else. At Grand Valley, they are building more buildings and more living centers like crazy, and charging well over $600 per month, per student, to live on the premisses. Even after forking over nearly $7,000 per year to live on campus, students still need to pay $160 per semester to park their car there (really… you’d think they could just include that in the rent). The tuition has risen to an insane high, and even though the faculty and staff all agreed to take a pay freeze, the tuition is still going way up. Why? I can’t give you all of the reasons, because there is likely a lot of parts to it. What I can say… is that Governor Snyder was a big mistake for Michigan’s educational system, at least for K-12 schools.
Did you know that Governor Snyder, specifically and directly, is making it more difficult and more expensive for those select people who GIVE MONEY TO PUBLIC EDUCATION. I say again, if you are giving money away to help fund public education, you are now responsible for MORE taxes!. He’s doing the very same thing to public education K-12 programs as well. Why on Earth would anybody give money to it then? They aren’t, at least many of them aren’t. When the state pulls back some funding, and private sources pull back funding, where does that leave the cost? On the students’ families. Sad. Even more sad… he’s giving that money, to BUSINESSES! No surprising coming from the Ex-CEO of Gateway computers… right?
He’s also taking almost $900 million of that money, and shifting it to colleges and universities. Yet, still, even though Colleges and Universities are about to receive more money, and their employees take a pay freeze, their tuition goes up.
But why does it getting more expensive, for whatever reason, tie into it being a complete waste? Well, it doesn’t really mean anything, unless you refer to the pile of debt I’ll be paying off for the next 10 years or so. It isn’t really related to me learning anything though. That falls into my carerr path, or at least, the path in which my major suggests I’ll be heading down. Film, for the most part, doesn’t require a degree at all. A person with experience is what Producers are looking for here. If you’ve worked on a set before, you can probably get a job again. if you have your name in the IMDB database, you can likely get a job. If you have a degree in Film Production…. well, I hope you’ve worked on a film somewhere in the past, so that you can get a job! That’s pretty much how it works.
Of course, a student likely has, for the most part, worked on a set before, and worked many different areas of a film production in the past. That’s one of the things I did get out of school… opportunities. These opportunities I speak of though, aren’t in a professional sense, but more or less, in the “practice” sense. Lots of class projects about stuff I don’t care about, as opposed to my brain being tickled at the idea of creating something that means something. It gave me experience working with other people, a aspect of the job that I would have gotten anyways, had I just started working on films in the first place. The only difference here, is that I have $40k+ debt to show for it later. On a set from the start… well, I’d likely have all my bills paid off for a while by now.
There is an up-side, at least for me, when it comes to Snyder. Although he is reducing the Film Incentive that this state currently has for filmmakers, he’s also giving that money to businesses. That’s something I plan on doing later, so I’d have a tax break I guess. Oh how the world turns.
I suppose there are a few aspects about going to school as a Film Major that have brought positives, such as building connections, and meeting people, and getting practice at the skills I’ll need later… but my argument, is that all these things I’ve mentioned could have been also experienced in the field, outside of school, without dealing with parking tickets on my windshield at the school I’m already paying over $10k per year to attend. I haven’t even touched or SEEN actual film my entire time here. Did you know that a film student could go through the entire program, and graduate, without ever being exposed to film? I did it. Honestly, I think film is being phased out in school now. Our 2 sessions of 16MM probably won’t last much longer.
Long story short: I don’t feel as though college has been the best possible investment, and I wish It would just be over-with.